Show ContentsJessop History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Jessop family name to the British Isles. Jessop comes from the ancient personal name Joseph. The surname Jessop was a baptismal name which meant Joseph. [1]

Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

Early Origins of the Jessop family

The surname Jessop was first found in Sussex where William Josep was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included an entry for Richard filius Josep in Cambridgeshire at that time and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Josop and Johannes Jesop as holding lands there. [3]

Early History of the Jessop family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jessop research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1612, 1663, 1746, 1602, 1658, 1602, 1624, 1631, 1632, 1643, 1643 and 1648 are included under the topic Early Jessop History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jessop Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Jessop, Jessope, Jesop, Jesope, Jessopp, Jessup and many more.

Early Notables of the Jessop family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Constantine Jessop (1602?-1658), an English Presbyterian minister, son of John Jessop, minister at Pembroke, was born about 1602. In 1624, at the age of twenty-two, he was entered as a student at Jesus College, Oxford. "Thence he went to Trinity College, Dublin, and there graduated B.A. He was incorporated B.A. at Oxford on 30 June 1631, and graduated M.A. on 8 May 1632. On 11 May...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jessop Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jessop Ranking

In the United States, the name Jessop is the 12,400th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Jessop family to Ireland

Some of the Jessop family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Jessop migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Jessop or a variant listed above:

Jessop Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Jessop, who settled in Massachusetts in 1635
  • Dorothy Jessop, who landed in Maryland in 1652 [5]
  • Thomas Jessop, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [5]
  • William Jessop, who landed in Maryland in 1677 [5]
Jessop Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Jessop, who landed in New York, NY in 1838 [5]

Canada Jessop migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jessop Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Francis Jessop, who arrived in Canada in 1823

Australia Jessop migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Jessop Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Jessop, a painter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. William Jessop, British convict who was convicted in Suffolk, England for life, transported aboard the "England" on 6th June 1835, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Eliza Ann Jessop, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Standard" [7]
  • David Jessop, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland"
  • Mr. Benjamin Jessop who was convicted in Chelmsford, Essex, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jessop 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:

Jessop Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Jessop, aged 37, a mason, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Mary Jessop, aged 34, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Leah Jessop, aged 15, a servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Sarah Jessop, aged 11, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Thomas Jessop, aged 9, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jessop (post 1700) +

  • Peter Jessop (b. 1964), American film actor and voice actor
  • Jonathan Jessop, American Republican politician, Postmaster at York, Pennsylvania, 1865-84 [9]
  • William Jessop (1745-1814), noted English civil engineer
  • Gilbert Laird Jessop (1874-1955), English cricket player
  • Graham Jessop (b. 1957), English deep sea diver, and marine archaeologist, discoverer of the RMS Carpathia and the HMS Edinburgh
  • Russell Jessop (1957-2018), Australian rules footballer who played with Collingwood (1976-1977)
  • Thomas Jessop (1804-1887), master cutler and mayor of Sheffield, funded a hospital for women
  • Elisha Jessop (1843-1918), Canadian doctor and politician
  • Clytie Jessop, British actor
  • Frank Jessop, founder of Jessops of Leicester, the British photographic chain

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Burgess Jessop, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Lusitania
RMS Titanic
  • Miss Violet Constance Jessop, aged 24, English Stewardess from London, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 16 [12]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. 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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th April 2022).
  7. South Australian Register Friday 14 October 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Standard 1853. Retrieved
  8. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 11th February 2021 from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  10. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  11. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from
  12. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook