The surname of ANSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Agnes' a popular feminine name during the 12th to the 16th century. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. Early records of the name mention Isaac ANSON and Judith Dean, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1767.
A notable member of the name was Baron George ANSON (l697-l762) the English Naval Commander born in Shugborough Park Staffordshire, England. He entered the Navy in l7l2 and was made a Captain in l724. In l739 on the outbreak of war with Spain, he received the command of a Pacific Squadron of 6 vessels, and sailed from England in September l740. With only one ship, and less than 200 men, but with ]500,000 of Spanish treasure, he returned to England in June l744 having circumnavigated the globe in three years and nine months. In l76l he was appointed Admiral of the Fleet. He wrote "Voyage round the World" in l748 the story of his circumnavigation.
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