The surname of HANSEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Hans' a nickname for one with a handsome face. The name was introduced into England by the Dutch, and probably arrived in England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that is became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. Early records of the name mention William Hansonne who was recorded in the year 1448 in the County of Yorkshire. John Hansum and Mary Jepson were married at St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1668. John Hanson and Mary Abben were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1772. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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