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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Sessions family come from? What is the English Sessions family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sessions family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sessions family history?

Sessions is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sessions family lived in Gloucestershire, at the manor of Siston, from whence their name was derived.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sessions have been found, including Siston, Sistons, Syston, Sistun, Systun, Sisson, Sissons, Sysun, Sisun, Sissun, Sison, Sisons, Syson, Sysson, Session, Sesion and many more.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Siston, held at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book, a survey of England taken by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in Hastings in 1066 A.D. In this survey the village of Siston was held by Roger de Berkeley. Conjecturally they were descended from Roger, and as it was the tradition of Norman families, the second or third son usually adopted the name of his manor or lands.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sessions research. Another 186 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1661, 1690, 1720, 1749, and 1783 are included under the topic Early Sessions History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Sessions Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sessions family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Sessions were among those contributors:

Sessions Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jo Sessions, aged 22, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Elizabeth Sessions, who landed in Maryland in 1675
  • Alexander Sessions, who arrived in New England in 1677
  • James Sessions, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Hannah Sessions, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682

Sessions Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Tho Sessions, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
  • Thos Sessions, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Thomas Sessions, who landed in Virginia in 1719


  • Roger Huntington Sessions (1896-1985), American composer, critic and teacher of music and was awarded a special citation in 1974 by the Pulitzer Prize board
  • Peter Anderson Sessions (b. 1955), American politician from the state of Texas
  • Ramon Sessions (b. 1986), American professional basketball player
  • Katherine Olivia "Kate" Sessions (1857-1940), American botanist, horticulturalist, and landscape architect
  • Allen Dale "Sammy" Sessions (1935-1977), American racecar driver
  • Alonzo Sessions (1810-1886), American politician from the state of Michigan
  • Walter Loomis Sessions (1820-1896), U.S. Representative from New York
  • Clarence William Sessions (1859-1931), United States federal judge
  • John Gibb Sessions (b. 1953), Scottish actor and comedian
  • Wendy Sessions, British ice dancer


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Sessions Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sessions Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 May 2013 at 00:47.

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