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About the study

Welcome to the Horsman / Horseman One Name Study.  My name is Sue Horsman,  I live in the UK and have been researching my Family History for almost 20 years,  and have been doing a One Name Study for over 15 years.
As with most One Name Studies, my interest began with researching my own family tree. Sadly I can only trace my own direct line as far back as 1808, when John Horseman married Hannah Tiffany at Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire. However in my efforts to find John's death I started to collect all instances of the name, and soon built up comprehensive trees for the Hors(e)man families in the area.Members of the various families subsequently migrated away from Yorkshire, and I have traced many of these to their new destinations, both in the UK and overseas.
A significant number Hors(e)man families are to be found in several other areas of the country, especially London, Lancashire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Devon and Warwickshire. I have also researched the families in these areas.
If you are a Hors(e)man or have Hors(e)man ancestry do get in touch with me. I cannot promise that I have information on your line, but will do my best to help.
I now have my own web site at 
Do have a look at it.

Variant names

The registered surname is Horsman, with the variants Horseman and Horsaman.
Whilst the surnames Horsman and Horseman occur across the country, the variant Horsaman appears to have developed in the East Riding of Yorkshire from one particular family.
Anyone using Ancestry and FMP may like to bear in mind that the surname is often mis indexed as Hars(e)man or Hers(e)man. I've submitted corrections where I have found them.

Name origin

English (Yorkshire): occupational name for a stable worker, from the Old English hors 'horse' + mann 'man'.The Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames has a different definition: Occup. or official, 'the horseman' either a mounted soldier or breeder of horses.
An alternative theory relating to the history of the name is provided by the historian, Reginald Horsman, who having researched early parish registers, suggests that the name may have derived from Ouseman, (from families living near the River Ouse); and that it gradually developed into Horsman or Horseman.

History of the name

Sir Thomas Horsman was born in about 1536 and died in 1610. He acquired land in Lincolnshire after the dissolution of the monasteries, although he appeared to live at the Savoy area of London. He is buried in London, but there is a large effigy to him in the church of Burton Pedwardine. This family was only continued down the female line.
Margery Horsman- was a maid of honor to Henry VIII’s first three queens and a member of the households of the last three. She may have been the 'one maiden more' who was the third of three women who supposedly made accusations against Anne Boleyn in 1536, but a report by Sir William Kingston suggests she was loyal to the queen. Margery married Sir Michael Lister of Hurstbourne, Hampshire (d.1551), as his second wife, on June 27, 1537 and with her husband served jointly as Keeper of the Queen'€™s Jewels.
*This information on Margery is courtesy of:*

Name frequency

The following figures do not take account of incorrect transcriptions, or of the fact that sometimes people spelt their names with an 'e' and sometimes without.
For a couple of years I have also shown where the highest concentrations of the combined names were to be found.
Year Horsman Horseman Horsaman Total YKS GLS MDX/LDN
1841 517 314 2 833      
1851 648 391 1 1040 51% 6% 6%
1861 732 400 17 1133      
1871 1003 390 21 1414      
1881 1059 539 9 1607 43% 6% 13%
1891 1173 619 24 1816      
1901 1352 696 26 2074      
1911 1615 638 25 2278      
2002 1748 923 10 2681  *    

*from the Office of National Statistics*

YKS = Yorkshire
GLS = Gloucestershire
MDX/LDN = Middlesex/London

Year Horsman Horseman Total
1851 37 62 99
1861 46 34 80
1871 57 138 195
1881 189 72 261
1891 271 60 331
1901 236 132 368
1911 177 83 260

Year Horsman Horseman Total
1850 126 295 421
1860 153 377 530
1870 334 405 739
1880 286 442 728
1900 625 698 1323
1910 631 777 1408
1920 833 721 1554
1930 994 767 1761
1940 678 656 1334


Distribution of the name

These are some of the families who I have detailed information on. If *your* family doesn't appear on the list, it may be because they are found within one of the families listed below, or because this list is very much 'Work in Progress' and the section has not yet been updated. If you don't see the information you are looking for - do still get in touch.
Also, if you have information on these or any other Hors(e)man's I would love to hear from you.


Name  Dates Location Descendant Information
Buckinghamshire     I have information on these families, please get in touch.  my website has more details
    Carlisle The large family which lived in Carlisle was headed by Thomas Horsman, a stonemason who moved from the Bristol area
Peter Swires Horsman 1815 - 1875 Egremont Peter was descended from the Horsman family which originated in Ripon, although he was born in Shrewsbury. He has no descendants.
John Horseman 1825 - ? Wigton John is descended from the Horsman family which originated in Knaresborough. He was a Hand Loom Weaver, but the family did not remain in Cumberland long, before moving to Middlesbrough
Richard Horseman c.1780-1847 Brampton In his youth, Richard was a soldier in the 51st Foot. His army discharge papers say he was born at Barnsley, but as yet I have not found a suitable baptism. He married Hannah Sessex at Barnsley in 1802, and had 3 children, of whom 2 died young. He subsequently married Rosa Mary Decoster {Sic} at Portsea, St Mary in 1814, and had 9 children. When Richard left the army, the family moved to Brampton.
Henry Horseman 1820 -1896 Staveley Henry was born in London, son of Samuel Horseman and Susannah Farnham. He married Mary Ann Mead in Lambeth in 1839, when his occupation was a Brushmaker. Between 1841 and 1851 the family moved to Staveley in Derbyshire, and by 1871 Henry gave his occupation as a Grocer. Most of the family remained in the Staveley area, although one branch moved to Benwell in Newcastle
John Horsman 1807 - 1875 Ashburton John tells us he was born in Ashburton, joined the Army and then became an Excise officer, living in Kent. There is no sign of him in the Ashburton baptisms - where was he from?
Robert Horsman ?-? Chivelstone Robert married in 1691 and founded a line which lived in the South Pool area of Devon. Many branches stayed in Devon, although one family went to Quebec in Canada.
Nicholas Horsman ? - 1627 Plympton His marriage licence to Ursula Edwards tells us that Nicholas was from South Poole. He and some of his descendants were Mayor's of the town.
  17th c. Plymouth There was a Horsman family in Plymouth in the 17th Century, and some descendants became mariners and moved to London.
John Horsman c.1756 - 1819 South Pool Although he married in Bristol, John and his family lived in South Pool. I need to find his connection to the other Horsman's in South Pool.
    Auckland The family who lived here moved north from Kirkby Ravensworth in Yorkshire. One branch then moved to Pelton
John Horseman c.1728-1798 Dinsdale John married Catherine Pickering in 1767, and had 2 childen. Of these only William had children. Christopher, one of William's grandchildren emigrated to the USA in 1877, and became a Veterinary Surgeon. I believe that John is descended from a family which originated in Masham.
James Horseman c.1702-1790 Greatham James was Vicar of Greatham, and in 1732 married Elizabeth Lisle. They had 5 children. Their son John was Rector of Souldern in Oxfordshire, and two of his sons were also clergymen. One of their descendents was a Surgeon and emigrated to Australia in 1852.
Thomas Horseman c.1777-1837 Bristol Thomas was married to Hannah and was a Hackney Coach Proprietor / Livery Stables keeper. They had 6 children that I am aware of, including John James who, with his son Charles travelled the country as Comedians. Thomas's place of birth remains a mystery.
James Horseman ?-? Bristol James married Mary Henrietta Jelf in 1803, and as yet I have only found one son James who lived in Stapleton. His son Thomas was a stonemason and moved to Carlisle in Cumberland where several generations of the family can be found.
John Horseman c.1777-1844 Frenchay, Bristol John was a Mason, and married firstly to Sarah Perry, and secondly to Christian Bowyer. He had 13 children which I am aware of. Whilst many of the family remained in the Bristol area, one branch went to South London where they were Oven Builders.
Robert Horseman ?-1804 Shennington Robert married Ann Dickson in 1761, and has many descendants. Many of them were stone masons in the south of England.
James Horseman c.1762 - 1825 Bishops Stortford James married Mary Kukan in London in 1788, and had 5 children in Lambeth, before having a further 2 in Hertfordshire. He was a Licenced Victualler / Bargebuilder. Two of his children emigrated to Australia in 1841. William was married to Eliza Silk Evans, and they had 8 children, before he was lost at sea off Australia in 1847.
John Horsman 1807 - 1875 Folkestone / Greenwich John was an Excise officer, who claims to have been born at Ashburton in Devon.
    Blackburn I am almost sure (but cannot prove) that the Hors(e)man families of Edward Horsman (b.c. 1795) and Charles (b. c. 1804) in Blackburn are descended from an Edward Horsman who moved from Dallagill in Yorkshire)
William Horsman c.1777-1845 Liverpool William was a Brewer and Merchant, and married Jane Cockburn. They had 3 daughters. William was not born in Lancashire.
Amos Horsman c.1777-1854 Oldham Tells us he was born in 1777, a British Subject, in New York State, USA, and that he was a Shoemaker. His youngest son Thomas emigrated to the USA in 1856. Amos died in the Workhouse.
Edward Horsman c.1801-1842 Wigan A victualler, married to Ann Gradwell, he had 3 daughters. Edward was not born in Lancashire.
Sir Thomas Horsman   Burton Pedwardine Sir Thomas acquired land in the area following the dissolution of the monasteries. There is a large monument to him in the church, but he appears to have been buried at the Savoy chapel in London.
Thomas Horsman c.1749 - 1814 Brant Broughton Married Jane Hunt in 1775. The family mainly stayed in the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas, but some 'twigs' went to Birmingham, Lancashire and London.
London / Middlesex     I have information on other families, please get in touch
Timothy Horsman c.1751 - 1841 Camberwell Timothy was a carpenter who married Martha Bright in 1775, and had 6 children. Following Martha's death in 1810, Timothy married Margaret Joice. Sadly Timothy died in Camberwell workhouse, shortly before the 1841 census; so we have no clues as to his origins. Timothy is a big Brick Wall. Can anyone help with him ?
Walter Horseman ? - 1786 Kentish Town Was married to Mary Winsor, and was a cow keeper before being brutally murdered by an ex employee. One of his sons was a Fishmonger and moved to Surrey.
Samuel Horseman ? - ? London Married Susanna Farnham in 1817. The only living son that I can trace moved to Derbyshire
John Horseman c.1775 - 1814 London John was a Coffee House Keeper in Charing Cross, was married to Frances Sidebotham and had 3 daughters. Following John's death, Frances remarried and the family moved to Liverpool
William Horseman c.1741 - 1804 Southwark Following his marriage to Sarah Mans at Royston (Herts), Society of Friends (Quakers), William was a tobacconist in Southwark. William and Sarah had 8 children, but only one survived infancy; (John, c.1784 - what happened to him?). William's Quaker marriage record tells us that his parents were John and Mary Horseman from Leeds.
Philip Horsman ? - 1807? Monmouth Philip married his second wife Mary O'Hara in 1782, and several of their descendants took the name O'Hara as a second Christian name. One grandson Philip became a successful builder in Wolverhampton, and was a great philanthropist. Another grandson Samuel was a clergyman at Down and knew Charles Darwin. I suspect that Philip may have been born at Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire.
Northamptonshire     Some of the 'early' records are for people who crossed the border from Oxfordshire, and others were connected with a family from Kensington which moved to Rutland (via Northants)
Northumberland     Most families moved north from Yorkshire and Derbyshire
    Nottingham One of the families who lived in Nottingham are descended from the family who lived at Brant Broughton. Another unconnected family came from Leeds.
Peter Horsman c.1726 - 1800 Ollerton Peter was born at Bewerley in Yorkshire and moved to Ollerton where he became a blacksmith. One branch of the family moved to London, and Charles (b.1818) was a Veterinary Surgeon in Ollerton, but abandoned his family some time around 1861 and went to the USA to join the Civil War. Family legend has it that he started a second family in America.
John Horsman c.1762-1829 Adderbury John married a Mary and had 5 children. I need to investigate this family more
Barnabas Horseman ? - 1663 Banbury Barnabas came from the Horseman family of Tysoe in Warks. His descendants then moved to Pillerton Hersey in Warks.
  16th C. Great Haseley This is a very early Horseman family in Oxfordshire, which according to the Visitation of Oxfordshire 1574, is supposed to have originated in Massam (Masham) in Yorkshire. This family were early Catholic Recusants.
Nicholas Horsman 16th C. Oxford more investigation is needed.
Nicholas Horsman 1630-1678 Oxford Nicholas came from Plympton in Devon and married Adriana Ballard. they had 3 surviving children who need further investigation.
    Stretton This family moved to Stretton in the mid 17th C, and was resident there until the end of the 18th C. It is a fascinating family which is said to have originated in Ripon, but whose most distant identifiable ancestor was buried in Kensington in 1600. During the Civil war they were on Cromwell's side. The family were well educated with several being Lawyers and Doctors in London. I have not found any male descendants from this family.
Peter Horsman 1778 - 1848 Shrewsbury Peter is from the Ripon family, and was manager of a flax Mill at Ditherington, Shrewsbury. There are no male descendants from this branch, although 2 of his daughters leave family in the Isle of Man, and another in Australia
    Wednesbury & Wolverhampton These families are descended from Philip Horsman of Monmouth.
Richard Thomas Horseman 1784 - 1852 Barnes Richard was a fishmonger, originally from the St Pancras area of London.
Thomas Horsman 1738 - 1819 Glamorgan Thomas Horsman married Mary Thomas in Cowbridge, Glamorgan, Wales, in 1785, and had 9 children between then and 1797, all baptised in Wales. However by 1812 the family were living in Lambeth. One son, Thomas Thomas Horsman, was a surgeon who continued living in Wales; but his son Thomas Parry Horsman emigrated to Australia between 1883 and 1916, possibly following bankruptcy proceedings. Once living in London, we learn more about Thomas (snr), as several of his letters to Mary Fletcher (a Methodist philanthropist) exist; where he explains that he left London to go to Wales for health reasons, but that on returning to London he fell on hard times.
John Horseman early 18th C Pillerton Hersey John married Elizabeth Clifford at Tysoe in 1716, and their children were baptised at Pillerton Hersey. They were the founders of an extensive family centred on the Warwickshire/Gloucestershire border area.
William Horsman ? - 1756 Snitterfield When William married Elizabeth Haynes in 1746 he was described as a widower, but I have been unable to find his first marriage. William and Elizabeth have quite an extensive tree.
John Horseman ? - 1620 Tysoe John was married to Ann, and via his son Barnabas was the founder of the large family which went to Banbury, and Pillerton Hersey
Joseph Horsman c.1747 - 1832 Evesham I believe he married Ann Walker in 1776, but of his 5 children, only Edward (1790-1841) married, lived in Bengeworth and had a family. This is not an extensive tree
    Aldborough 3 families whose ancestry is difficult to work out due to the absence of mothers in the baptism records
Joseph Horsman c.1791-1836 Armley, Leeds Joseph was an Innkeeper, who married Ann Sedgworth. Whilst most of the family stayed in Yorkshire, one branch moved to the North East of England, whilst other members of the family went to Ontario in Canada, and to Rhode Island in the USA.
Samuel Horsman c.1742 - 1791 Bramley, Leeds He was a cloth maker who married Ann Thompson. He was the son of another Samuel. Not a very extensive family.
George Horsman c.1774 - 1844 Bramley, Leeds George was a Clothier, and married twice, both times to ladies called Sarah. A major branch of this family were shopkeepers in the Kirkstall Road area.
John Horseman ? - ? Dacre Banks My ancestors. John married Hannah Tiffany at Pateley Bridge in 1808, fathered 4 children, then vanished
William Horsman ? -? Dallagill William's Great Grandson Edward was born in about 1765 and married Sarah, before moving to Blackburn, Lancs. Only the baptism of Edward's son Robert can be found, but there are several Horsman families in the Blackburn area, which I am sure are descended from Edward. But where are the baptisms !
Edward Horsman c.1746 - 1810 Fenton He married Hannah Lamb in 1766, and lived at Little Fenton. This is a very large family which moved throughout the UK.
Thomas Horsman c.1766-1827 Gargrave Thomas was a Miller, who married 3 times, but his children are all from his third wife Alice. This is an extensive family, one branch of which were industrialists in India, with a sub branch of this moving to Southern Ireland.
Enoch Horseman c.1774-1843 Halifax Originally from Leeds, he married Mary Thorpe in 1793 and had 4 children. This is not an extensive family
Thomas Horsman ? - ? Hartwith Thomas is an unknown quantity, and had 2 sons baptised at Hartwith: Thomas (1783-1855) whose descendants are well documented, and John (1785-?) who I suspect may be my ancestor. This family appears to have been in Hartwith for only a short time, and there are several options as to who Thomas may be
Thomas Horseman ? - 1783 Hemsworth Thomas was a 'Taylor', and had 5 known children. I suspect he married twice. Not an extensive family
Thomas Horsman c.1801-1870 Hook Married Mary Ingham at Kirby Grindalyth in 1824, then emigrated to Canada, via the USA in 1831. He married a second time in Amherstburg, Canada; and the family lived there for many years, with some branches crossing the border to Michigan & Illinois in the USA
William Horsman c. 1781 - 1844 Hunslet, Leeds William married Ann Lawrence in 1801. Whilst most of the family remained in the Leeds area, one branch went to Barton on Irwell in Lancashire.
Ralph Horsman ?- ? Ilton, Masham Another family which was not very prolific.
    Kilburn see Myton on Swale
William Horseman ? - ? Kirby Malzeard Other than he had 2 sons, we know little about William. However his son Jeffrey (1733-1804) from West Tanfield has many descendants, in the UK, Canada and South Africa
Francis Horsman c.1745-1788 Kirkby Ravensworth married Dorothy (surname unknown). The family remained for a long while in North Yorkshire, with one branch moving to Hull in the East Riding
William Horsman c.1739-1813 Kirkstall, Leeds Married Grace Brook in 1773, and had 5 daughters, one of whom - Elizabeth was the mother of Thomas Wood Horsman (born c. 1803), the head of a very widespread family which has descendants throughout the world. There are several on-line trees which indicate that William married a different person, but analysis of parish records would appear to disprove this.
Thomas Horsman c.1712-1791 Knaresborough Thomas was a Weaver, and married Jane (surname unknown), although I don't know if she was the mother of the 2 children which I know are his. The family were Catholic, and two of his grandchildren entered the church. This is a very large family, some of whom went to Massachussets and Rhode Island in the USA.
William Horsman c.1759-1846 Knottingley Was a Waterman and married twice, firstly to Martha Steele in 1785, with whom he had 5 children, and secondly to Elizabeth Law in 1825. The family mainly remained in the Knottingley area.
Thomas Horsman c.1757 - 1818 Leeds This Thomas was a Tailor who lived in Leeds and married Mary Adamson in 1782. They had 7 children, of whom only 1 definately survived into adulthood. A large family is descended from this son, Christopher. One of his sons emigrated to Queensland, Australia, and has a road named after him.
William Horsman ? - ? Marske His grandson Christopher emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1775 on the Jenny. Christopher founded a very extensive family in Canada.
William Horsman c.1744 - 1827 Marton cum Grafton Married Elizabeth, and produced very few male descendants
William Horsman ? - ? Masham Married Ann Li(t)ster in 1603. Some descendants remained in the Ripon area, and other moved to Leeds, and Middleton in Lancashire. One of the latter was a printer and moved to Massachussets. I suspect that William is the ancestor of the family from Dinsdale in County Durham.
Thomas Horsman ? - 1729 Myton on Swale Thomas lived at Myton on Swale and was a Warrener. He was married to Elizabeth, and had 6 children. He left a very productive line. One of his 'twigs' lived at Kilburn, and another at Falsgrave, Scarborough
unknown   Poppleton This unknown Horsman was the father of Edward Horsman, who was a Surveyor of Excise at Edinburgh in the mid 18th C. His other son was William Horsman who lived at Nether Poppleton. William's daughter Mary married a Robert Horsman (who was he ?). The MP Edward Horsman was the grandson of Robert and Mary
Marmaduke Horseman c.1565 - ? Ripon Is as far back as I can get with the huge Hors(e)man family which originated in Ripon, Yorkshire, and whose 1104 descendants travelled to all corners of the world.
William Horsman ? - ? Ripon of 'Sharrah' (Sharrow). Married Isabelle. His son William (1746-1815) lived at Naburn. This is an extensive tree, with branches in Essex and London, as well as Yorkshire
William Horsman c.1796 - 1843 Tong Not much is known about William, and he does not have an extensive tree.
William Horsman c.1776-1831 Wawne Married Hannah Calvert in 1800 and started a family which are predominant in East Yorkshire. It is from this family that the variant Horsaman emerged.
William Horsman c.1790 - 1865 West End William was a Flax Spinner and married Mary Craven in 1817. The family moved to Rochdale in Lancashire probably in the late 1850's. Unfortunately I've not been able to find William's baptism, and can only surmise who his parents are.
Thomas Horseman ? - ? West Tanfield Another Thomas whose marriage to Hannah I cannot find !. The descendants mainly stayed in North Yorkshire.
Thomas Horsman c.1784-1825 Whitby He was an Innkeeper in Whitby. His son Thomas was a cabinet maker, but died young. His son Thomas was also a cabinet maker in Leeds.
Amos Horsman c.1719-1790 York Amos was an Innkeeper in York, and married Margaret Collett in 1745. They had 4 children, before he died in his early 40's. Their son Amos was a carpenter, married twice, and had 7 children. A small but interesting family, which ended up in London, via Portsmouth and Plymouth. There are still several 'twigs' which need further research.
Margaret Horsman c.1798 - ? York Margaret was an unmarried mum who subsequently married George Hebden, then vanished. Her son John married Hannah Hopwood in 1849, and began a family, many of whom stayed in York. Other branches moved to Sheffield, Leeds, London and Scotland
John Horsman c.1798 - 1887 Galway John was an Officer of the Excise and married Frances Phillips. The family lived in Worcestershire, before John moved to Scotland, where he married a second time aged about 72. From this marriage record I believe that his parents were John and Honora Horsman
Thomas Horsman c.1831 - ?1888 Dublin Thomas was a Coach Painter, who moved to Leeds. His wife Margaret was born in Hull as were several of the children, but their marriage is eluding me. I suspect his brother William was also in Leeds for a while.
Australia     I have information on some families who emigrated from the UK, but not all, so please get in touch if you have Hors(e)man ancestors.
Canada     I have information on some of the families who emigrated from the UK, but not all, so please get in touch if you have Hors(e)man ancestors.
New Zealand      
William Horsman 1841 - 1873 Christchurch William emigrated from Fewston in Yorkshire, England and is part of a large family originating in Ripon. William was a Butcher, and married Harriet Thompson in 1867. Following William's death, the family moved to Temuka.
South Africa     from Kirkby Malzeard, via West Tanfield
USA     I have information on some of the families who emigrated from the UK, especially those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I know there are a lot more Hors(e)man's in the USA, and would love to hear from any of them.



Data Collection
GRO Births               1837 - 1960
GRO Deaths             1837 - 1960
GRO Marriages       1837 - 1960
Probate (from the national probate index)     1858 - 1953
Pre 1858 Probate Records
I have an extensive collection of wills proved in the PCC, and at York; as well as many from Durham, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and other counties where the name was common|


In 2007 I set up a DNA project with Family Tree DNA and have nine members. Five of these have Yorkshire ancestors, with the others having Devon and Lincolnshire roots.

We have managed to prove that three of the Yorkshire members are connected to the same family. This is good news for the two members who were struggling with brick walls!I hope more people will join, so that we can try and identify links between the various branches of the family - both home and abroad.

If you are a male Hors(e)man, please get in touch if you would like to get involved.