Hinsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hinsley has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived at Hindley, in Lancashire, or later at Hiendley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. They are derived from the Old English words hind, which meant "female deer," and leah, which meant "forest clearing." The place-names as a whole mean "forest clearing where hinds are found."

Early Origins of the Hinsley family

The surname Hinsley was first found in Lancashire, now part of Greater Manchester. The first record of the placename was as Hindele in 1212 [1] "The family of Hindley, then Hindele, held lands here as early as the reign of Henry II.: in the eighth of Richard II., Robert, of this family, married Emma, one of the heiresses of Pemberton; and the Hindleys were living at the Hall in 1613." [2]

Important Dates for the Hinsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hinsley research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1700 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Hinsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hinsley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Hinsley have been found, including Hindley, Hindeley, Hindle, Hyndley and others.

Early Notables of the Hinsley family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hinsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hinsley migration to the United States

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Hinsley, or a variant listed above:

Hinsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Hinsley, who arrived in Iowa in 1883 [3]

Hinsley migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hinsley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Hinsley, aged 27, a porter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Sarah Hinsley, aged 24, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Walter F. Hinsley, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Bertha M. Hinsley, aged 4 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Hinsley (post 1700)

  • Jerry Dean Hinsley (b. 1945), American former Major League Baseball player who played from 1964 to 1967 for the New York Mets
  • George Hinsley (1914-1989), English footballer who played from 1935 to 1950
  • Arthur Hinsley (1865-1943), English prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Westminster from 1935 until his death
  • Sir Francis Harry Hinsley OBE (1918-1998), English historian and cryptanalyst who worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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