Show ContentsHousman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Housman can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a name for a person employed "at the house." In most cases, this was a religious house or convent. The surname Housman is derived from the Old English word hus, which means house, and the word man, which means servant. [1]

Early Origins of the Housman family

The surname Housman was first found in Yorkshire where Johannes Howsman was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. A few years earlier John Houseman was found in Colchester, Essex in 1365. [2]

"This surname, early found in Yorkshire, crossed the border and settled in the neighbourhood of Lancaster. A well-known vicar of Lancaster bore this name at the beginning of the century. Two hundred years earlier the name occurs in local Wills." [3]

Early History of the Housman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Housman research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1365, 1714, 1604, 1622, 1630, 1636, 1696, 1636, 1759 and 1838 are included under the topic Early Housman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Housman Spelling Variations

Housman has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Housman have been found, including Houseman, Housemayne, Houssemayne, Housman, Howseman and many more.

Early Notables of the Housman family (pre 1700)

Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Housman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Housman Ranking

In the United States, the name Housman is the 9,955th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Housman migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Housmans to arrive on North American shores:

Housman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Conrade Housman, aged 26, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739 [5]
  • Martin Housman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [5]
  • Conrad Housman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [5]
  • Frederick Housman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1771 [5]
Housman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John A Housman, aged 44, who arrived in Missouri in 1841 [5]
  • Peter Housman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856 [5]

New Zealand Housman 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:

Housman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Housman, aged 20, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Mr. William Housman, (b. 1841), aged 22, German dyer, from Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Housman (post 1700) +

  • Mary C. Housman, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1944, 1948 (alternate) [7]
  • Isaac R. Housman, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Richmond County, 1823 [7]
  • Emma A. Housman, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1920 [7]
  • Robert Housman (1759-1838), English divine, born at Skerton, near Lancaster, on 25 Feb. 1759, educated at the Lancaster free grammar school [8]
  • Alfred Edward "AE" Housman (1859-1936), English poet and classical scholar, now best known for his cycle of poems "A Shropshire Lad"
  • Laurence Housman (1865-1959), English playwright

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Clifford E.  Housman (1866-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [9]
  • Mrs. Winifred  Housman (1871-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [9]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Ernest Housman, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [10]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from
  8. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 7 August 2020
  9. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from
  10. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook