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

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

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. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tyson research. Another 163 words (12 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.


Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tyson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 settled in Virginia in 1642
  • George Tyson, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • Thomas Tyson, who arrived in Maryland in 1661
  • Reynier Tyson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683
  • Leonard Tyson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683

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, arrived in Rhode Island in 1812
  • Henry Tyson, aged 37, landed in New York in 1812
  • Matthew Tyson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1832
  • William Tyson, who landed in New York in 1835
  • J R Tyson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

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

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


  • Ron Tyson (b. 1948), American tenor /falsetto singer and songwriter
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nathan Tyson (b. 1982), professional English football player
  • Frank Holmes Tyson (1930-2015), English cricketer who played from 1952 to 1960 for Northamptonshire
  • Keith Tyson (b. 1969), born Keith Thomas Bower, Turner Prize-winning British artist
  • Ian Tyson CM, AOE (b. 1933), Canadian singer-songwriter, best known for his song "Four Strong Winds"



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

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. 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. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Tyson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tyson 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 29 September 2015 at 08:36.

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