Joscelyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Joscelyn was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the Germanic given name Gozzelin, which is a diminutive that translates as the little god. The surname Joscelyn was formed in the vernacular or regional naming tradition, which is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.

Early Origins of the Joscelyn family

The surname Joscelyn was first found in Jersey where the earliest on record was Robert Gosselin who was made Governor of the fortress of Mont Orgueil after saving the fort from the French.

However, Cheshire may be an early origin of the family too, as Henry Goseling was listed there in the Assize Rolls for 1260. Years later, Robert Goseling and Maud Gosselyng were both listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cheshire in 1327. "Gosling is, no doubt, often a late development of Goslin." [1]

Early History of the Joscelyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Joscelyn research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1529, 1603, 1229, 1566, 1626, 1619, 1626, 1614, 1621, 1693, 1758, 1693, 1632, 1704, 1632, 1696, 1777, 1733, 1678 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Joscelyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Joscelyn Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Joscelyn include Gosselin, Goselin, Goselyn, Goslin, Gosline, Gosling, Gosslyn, Gossling, Gosselyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Joscelyn family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Joscelyn or Josselin (1529-1603), Latin secretary to Archbishop Parker and Anglo-Saxon scholar, third surviving son of Sir Thomas Josselin of Hyde Hall, Hertfordshire, and High Roding, Essex, a direct descendant from Sir Thomas Jocelyn, who was knighted in 1229, and belonged to an ancient family of Brittany. [2] John Gostlin or Gostlyn MD (c. 1566-1626), was an English academic and physician, Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from 1619 till his death in 1626 and Regius Professor of Physic. Also a politician, he was Member of Parliament for Barnstaple, Devon (1614-1621.) [2] Ralph...
Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Joscelyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Joscelyn family to Ireland

Some of the Joscelyn 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.

Migration of the Joscelyn family

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Joscelyns to arrive on North American shores: William Gosselin settled in Barbados in 1635; Andreas and Barbara Gosselin settled in Charles Town in 1766; Edward Gosselin arrived in New York in 1821..


Contemporary Notables of the name Joscelyn (post 1700) +

  • George S. Joscelyn, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Sullivan County, 1837 [3]
  • Theodore Joscelyn Curphey (1897-1986), American coroner, Chief Medical Examiner of Nassau County (1937-1957), Los Angeles County Coroner (1957-1967)
  • Sir John Joscelyn Coghill (1826-1905), English peer, 4th Baronet of the Coghill Baronets of Coghill
  • William Joscelyn Arkell (1904-1958), British paleontologist
  • Joscelyn Godwin (b. 1945), English composer, musicologist and translator from Kelmscott, Oxfordshire


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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