History of the Hussey
History of the Distinguished Surname Hussey
Until about 1100 A.D., most people had only one name. As long as towns and villages were relatively small, one name was enough to distinguish an individual. As populations increased, it became cumbersome to distinguish one William or one John from another. A second name was needed. Usually, a second name was descriptive, derived from a person's occupation, location, his father's name, or an identifying characteristic. For example, a builder of houses might have taken a second name "Carpenter", and a person who lived near a stream might have become known as William "Brook". As families continued to grow and disperse, second names were sometimes modified by adding terminations. For example, "Jackson" could be recognized as the son of Jack. In Ireland, modifications were usually added to the beginning of the second name, so that "Mac" meant "the son of", and "O'" denotes "grandfather of". "Fitz" is another modification, used by Norman families to denote "son".
The ancient chronicles describe the surname "Hussey" to be of Norman origin, added to describe both location and characteristics. The name appears to be derived from "de Houssaye", or "Houssay", meaning either "one who wears hose" or "one who came from Houssay (holly grove)". Over the centuries, scribes recorded the name phonetically and changes in spelling frequently occurred. In the most extreme cases, a person could have been born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with a headstone containing another spelling. All three spellings resulted from a branch preference, religious affiliation, or sometimes nationalistic statements. Common variations include Husey, Hosey, Huzzey, Huzzay, Hussie, Huseys, Huzzeys, and Hussies.
Available records indicate that there are two major branches of the Hussey family; one branch originating in England, and the other beginning in Ireland. The first records of the name "Hussey" appears in Church, parish, and various Royal records in County Kent, where families were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy. Other ancestors may have lived in County Fermanagh, where the Gaelic name O'hEohusa was anglicized to Hussey.
The English heritage has been traced to Huburt Huse, who accompanied William the Conquerer into England in 1066, leaving two sons, Henry and William. A slight variation of this story is that Herbert de Husey entered England with the invading armies of William the Conquerer, to whom he was related by marriage. Available records indicate that it was the English branch who first migrated to the United States, when Christopher Hussey (son of John Hussey and his wife Mary Wood in County Surrey, England) came to America with his widowed mother in 1632 and settled in Lynn, Massachuttes.
It is believed that the Irish heritage began with offspring of Huburt Huse (or Herbert de Husey) who lived in County Meath, not far from Dublin, in the middle of the twelfth century. According to legend, in 1170 the Husseys helped expell the Danes from that part of Ireland. Direct lineage can be established to a Hussey family in County Roscommon, where Luke Hussey (my Great Great Grandfather) was born in June, 1829.
The ancient chronicles of England reveal the early records of the name Hussey as a Norman surname, which ranks as one of the oldest. The history of the name is closely interwoven into the majestic tapestry, which is an intrinsic part of the history of Britain.
In-depth research by skilled analysts into ancient manuscripts such as the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086 by William the Conqueror), the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, the Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptisms, family genealogies, local parish, and church records show the first record of the name Hussey was found in Kent where they were seated from early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
The family name Hussey is believed to be descended originally from the Norman race, frequently, but mistakenly assumed to be of French origin. They were more accurately of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D., under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Thornfinn Rollo, his descendant landed in northern France about the year 940 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, the territory of the north men. Rollo marries Charles' daughter and became a convert to Christianity. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, was descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.
Duke William took a census of most of England in 1086, and recorded it in the Domesday Book. A family name capable of being traced back to this manuscript, or to Hastings, was a signal honour for most families during the Middle Ages, and even to this day.
The surname Hussey emerged as a notable family name in the county of Kent where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in the shire. This distinguished Norman family was seated at Scotney Castle in Kent soon after the Conquest. The name was carried to England from Le Hozu a parish of Grand Quevilly near Rouen. They founded the Abbey of Durford in Sussex and was found in favour by King Stephen of England. Osbert Hussy held the lands about 1180. By the 13th century they had branched into Worchestershire at Little Shelsley and also Burwash and Ashford in the county of Kent. Their present family seats are Caythorp, Honington, Scotney Castle, Rathkerry, Edenburn, Westown, and Little Wyrley Hall. Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Hugh Hussey of Kent. The surname Hussey contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England or Scotland. During the 11th and 12th centuries many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland. Later, in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. The Monarchy, the Church, and Parliament fought for supremacy. Religious elements vied for control, the State Church, the Roman Church, and the Reform Church. All, in their time, made demands on rich and poor alike. They broke the spirit of men and many turned from religion, or alternatively, renewed their faith, pursuing with vigour and ferocity, the letter of the ecclesiastical law. Many families were freely 'encouraged' to migrate to Ireland, or to the 'Colonies'. Non believers or dissidents were banished, sometimes even hanged.
The settlers in Ireland became known as the 'Adventurers for land in Ireland'. They undertook to keep the protestant faith. In Ireland they settled in county Meath at Rathkerry.
The democratic attitudes of the New World spread like wildfire. Many migrated aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the 'White Sails'. The stormy Atlantic, small pox, dysentery, choler and typhoid took its toll on the settlers and many of these tiny, overcrowded ships arrived with only 60 or 70% of their passengers list. The migration or banishment to the New World continued, some voluntarily from Ireland, bur mostly directly from England or Scotland, their home territories. Some clans and families even moved to the European continent.
In North America, migrants which could be considered a kinsman of the family name Hussey, or variable spellings of that same family name included Robert Hussey settled in the Barbados in 1680 with his wife, children and servants; Stephen Hussey and his wife Theodate settled in Boston in 1632, with Mary and Christopher; Oliver, Anthony, Christopher, James, Michael, Patrick, and Thomas Hussey all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860. From the port of arrival many settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the Crown and moved northward into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
There are many notables of this name Hussey, Professor Joan Hussey, History; Very Reverend John Hussey, Dean of Chichester; Marmaduke Hussey, Chief Executive of the Times; Lady Susan Hussey, Woman of the Bedchamber of the Queen.
Prior to 1820, no immigration records exist for people entering the United States, and until 1870 the records are incomplete. Consequently, the date of Luke Hussey's immigration is not known, nor are the locales where he might have lived before his marriage to Jerusa Maltida Dunlap in South Carolina.