Show ContentsJosephson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Josephson is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name for the son of Joseph.

"Many of the modern directory Josephs are of Jewish extraction, but there are also a fair number of Josephs who have a purely English descent." [1]

Early Origins of the Josephson family

The surname Josephson was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form Josephus was recorded. [2] Later in Norfolk, Joseph (no forename) was listed at Holme (1141-1149) and later in Lincolnshire in 1187. In Herefordshire, Umfridus filius Josep was found there in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1205 and then William Joseph was entered in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1191 and in the Curia Regis Rolls for Suffolk in 1205. [3]

Joseph of Exeter, in Latin Joseph Iscanus (fl. 1190), was a mediæval "Latin poet, was, as he tells us himself, a native of Exeter, being the fellow-townsman and lifelong friend of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury." [4]

Early History of the Josephson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Josephson research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1205, 1273, 1754, 1764, 1846, 1764, 1784, 1792, 1788, 1797, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1790, 1850, 1815 and 1811 are included under the topic Early Josephson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Josephson Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Josephson include Joseph, Josephs, Josephson and others.

Early Notables of the Josephson family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include George Francis Joseph (1764-1846), Irish painter. He is said to be a native of Dublin, was born 25 Nov. 1764. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1784, and in 1792 gained the gold medal for a 'Scene from Coriolanus.' He sent his first contribution to the Academy in 1788, and became a constant exhibitor both there and at the British Institution. In 1797 he painted 'Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.' In 1811 the directors of the British Institution awarded him one-third of their combined premiums of 350 guineas for his 'Return...
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Josephson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Josephson Ranking

In the United States, the name Josephson is the 7,271st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Josephson family to Ireland

Some of the Josephson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Josephson migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Josephson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Meyer Josephson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763 [6]
  • Myer Josephson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1763 [6]
Josephson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Morris S Josephson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 [6]
  • Michael Josephson, who landed in Arkansas in 1886 [6]

New Zealand Josephson 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:

Josephson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joshua L. Josephson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Josephson (post 1700) +

  • Larry Josephson (1939-2022), American public radio producer from Los Angeles
  • Sharon Josephson, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 2004 [7]
  • Rita Josephson, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Florida, 2008 [7]
  • Joseph Josephson, American politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 28th District, 1956 [7]
  • Edward Josephson, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1984 [7]
  • Carol Josephson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1956; Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1957-65 [7]
  • Abraham Josephson, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 23rd District, 1920 [7]
  • A. W. Josephson, American politician, Printer; Delegate to Socialist National Convention from New York, 1920 [7]

The Josephson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cas ni charo y wlad a'i mago
Motto Translation: Loathed be he that loveth not his native land

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook