Houssay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Houssay is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Houssay family lived in Wiltshire. Their name, however, generally derives from the name of the area of Houssaye in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy. Another equally valid but less common derivation shows that some in some cases the name finds its roots in the word hussey, which was a Old English nickname for a woman who was the head of her own household. "The surname is not to be associated with the modern meaning of hussy." [1]

Looking again in Normandy, France, we found in the Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae, "Osbert de Hussey, who was living in 1180, was so named from le Hozu, a fief in the parish of Grand Quevilly near Rouen. One Henry de la Hosse or Heuze held, inter alias, the lands of Hosse." [2] It was "found written De la Hossé or Heuzé, De Hosa, and De Hoese," at that time. [3]

Early Origins of the Houssay family

The surname Houssay was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where early Latin spellings of the name prevailed. Walter Hosed, William Hostus were both registered at that time. [4]

"William Hosed or Hostus held Charlcomb, in Somersetshire, of Bath Abbey, as well as other manors in the county: and the first lords of Bath-Eaton were of this family." [5]

Henry Hoese, Huse was listed as a Knights Templar in Oxfordshire in 1153 and 1185. Geoffrey Hoset (Hose) was recorded in the Pipe Rolls for Warwickshire in 1168 and later, William Hose, Huse was found in the Assize Rolls for Gloucestershire in 1221. [1]

Of particular interest is that two sources, a visitation of Dorset in 1623 and a manuscript in ancient French said to have been in the Abbey of Glastonbury at its dissolution, both mention Hubert Husse, a Norman noble who married Countess Helen, daughter of Richard the 5th Duke of Normandy. Both mention he accompanied William the Conqueror to England and was granted the office of High Constable together with considerable possessions for his efforts during the Conquest. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Geoffrey Husey and Reginald Husey as holding lands in Wiltshire at that time. [7]

"Hussey is an ancient name in Somerset and Wiltshire, and further particulars concerning its origin will be found under 'Wiltshire.' From the mediæval Huse probably come the Wiltshire name of Howse and the Somerset name of House. However, the Husseys of Wilts were a powerful family during the 14th century, and traced their ancestry back to the Husees, of whom it is said that the original ancestor came over with the Conqueror." [8]

Little Wyrley in Staffordshire was also another ancient family seat. " Wyrley Grove is the ancient seat of the Husseys, who obtained it in marriage with the heiress of the family of Fowke: the mansion stands at the head of a fine lawn, and is a noble and picturesque specimen of ancient architecture." [9]

Early History of the Houssay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houssay research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1651, 1265, 1332, 1295, 1495, 1466, 1537, 1503, 1585, 1648, 1640, 1641, 1640, 1641, 1597, 1657, 1645, 1656, 1626, 1664, 1656, 1664, 1642, 1691 and 1294 are included under the topic Early Houssay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Houssay Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Houssay are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Houssay include Hussey, Houssey, Huzzy, Huzzey and others.

Early Notables of the Houssay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Hussey (1265-1332), Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, created 1st Baron Hussey in 1295. Sir William Hussey or Huse (d. 1495), was Chief Justice and was probably a son of the Sir Henry Huse who received a grant of free warren in the manor of Herting in Sussex in the eighth year of Henry VI. [10] John Hussey Lord Hussey (1466?-1537), was the eldest son of Sir William Hussey [q. v.], by Elizabeth his wife; he is referred to as a knight in his mother's will, which is dated in 1503. [10] Sir...
Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houssay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Houssay family to Ireland

Some of the Houssay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Houssay family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Houssay, or a variant listed above: Stephen Hussey and his wife Theodate, who settled in Boston in 1632; Christopher Hussey, who settled in Boston in 1632; David Hussey, who came to Virginia in 1648.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  6. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  9. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  10. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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