Tiessen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tiessen is an ancient Norman name, that would have been used in Britain soon after the Conquest of the island in 1066. This name was given to a person who was a fiesty or hot-tempered person. The name is a metaphor derived from the Old French word tison meaning fire-brand.

Alternatively the name could have originated from "Tesson or Taisson, the Norman-French for badger." [1]

Early Origins of the Tiessen family

The surname Tiessen was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from early times, where the name originally was Tesson, one of the most powerful families in Normandy seated at Angouleme. Their history is French more than Viking and they distinguished themselves against the Saracens in 725.

They were later seated at Anjou and Raoul Tesson the first Lord of Cingueleiz led 120 knights at Val-Des-Dunes in 1047. Gilbert Tesson, his brother, obtained the barony of Alnwick from King Edward the Confessor, England's Saxon King, and was killed at the Battle of Hastings, fighting on the Saxon side. [2]

Early History of the Tiessen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tiessen research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1309, 1651, 1708 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Tiessen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tiessen Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Tyson, Tesson, Tewson, Tiuson, Tison, Dyson and many more.

Early Notables of the Tiessen family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tiessen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tiessen migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Tiessen name or one of its variants:

Tiessen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Tiessen, aged 43, who landed in New York, NY in 1875 [3]
  • Abraham Tiessen, aged 26, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879 [3]
  • Cathar Tiessen, aged 1, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879 [3]
  • Maria Tiessen, aged 3, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tiessen (post 1700) +

  • Richard Gustav Heinz Tiessen (1887-1971), German composer


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  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. ^ 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)


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