Show ContentsTyson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tyson is rooted in the ancient Norman culture that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for someone 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 Tyson family

The surname Tyson 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 Tyson family

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

Tyson Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Tyson, Tesson, Tewson, Tiuson, Tison, Dyson and many more.

Early Notables of the Tyson family (pre 1700)

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

Tyson Ranking

In the United States, the name Tyson is the 934th most popular surname with an estimated 32,331 people with that name. [3]

United States Tyson migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Tyson or a variant listed above were:

Tyson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Tyson, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [4]
  • Thomas Tyson, who arrived in Maryland in 1661 [4]
  • Reynier Tyson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683 [4]
  • Leonard Tyson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683 [4]
Tyson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Lewis Tyson who settled in Maryland in 1719
Tyson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Tyson, aged 23, who arrived in Rhode Island in 1812 [4]
  • Henry Tyson, aged 37, who landed in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Matthew Tyson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1832 [4]
  • William Tyson, who landed in New York in 1835 [4]
  • J R Tyson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Tyson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tyson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Tyson, who landed in Saint Vincent in 1760-1763
Tyson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Isaiah Tyson, who arrived in Canada in 1829
  • Mr. William Tyson, aged 17 who was a Seaman aboard the ship "Saguenay" taking passenger to Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died at Grosse Isle on 30th August 1847 in the typhus epidemic [5]

Australia Tyson migration to Australia +

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

Tyson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Tyson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. James Tyson who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tyson (post 1700) +

  • Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (b. 1966), American former world heavyweight boxing champion, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame
  • Cicely Louise Tyson (1924-2021), American Tony award and Emmy Award winning actress, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Ron Tyson (b. 1948), American tenor /falsetto singer and songwriter
  • Laura D'Andrea Tyson (b. 1947), American economist and presidential adviser
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (b. 1958), award-winning American astrophysicist
  • Lawrence Tyson (1861-1929), American politician
  • June Tyson (1936-1992), American jazz singer
  • George C. Tyson, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Michigan State Senate 13th District, 1926 [8]
  • David R. Tyson, American Republican politician, West Virginia Republican State Chair, 2000; Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 2000, 2008, 2012; Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 2012 [8]
  • David R. Tyson, American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1976 [8]
  • ... (Another 24 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Robert Tyson, American Fire Controlman Third Class from Louisiana, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [9]

Suggested Readings for the name Tyson +

  • Cornelius Tyson Descendants, 1632-1986 by Genevieve A. Kerr-Tyson.
  • The Tyson Family History, Compiled 1963-1965 by Elsie Tyson Hughes.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 62)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from
  9. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook