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About the study
My main interest is in the Houseman family of Darley in Yorkshire but as a result of researching my family tree it became apparent that there are several branches of Houseman's throughout England. Whilst Free BMD and other genealogy sites with the BMD Indexes have the information, finding the correct person in those years which have not yet been search indexed can be time consuming if the year is not known. I have extracted all references to the Houseman name from the GRO Index images for England and Wales. At the present time I still have Scotland, Ireland and all countries beyond the British Isles to start of. *I am assisting Gary Houseman organise a further Houseman Family Reunion on Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September 2011 at the Memorial Hall, Darley. The weekend will include displays from the Darley History Group, Houseman One Name Study as well as members of the Darley Branch of the Houseman Family with their own family tree. All are welcome to attend and contibute to the event. Further details can be obtained by contacting me through this website or by followingthe links below.*
Variants of the name are not included in my study at the present time
It would appear that the Houseman family came to Nidderdale in the early 1700's, but where from? and through various marriages and their own efforts became leading and influential members of the community. There are still Houseman's in the dale today. I have managed to establish a direct link to George Houseman, born about 1700 in Holme, Yorkshire. Houseman is either an occupational name for a servant in one of the great houses or a status name for one owning a property.
Historical occurrences of the name
Probably the most famous example of the name is A E Houseman (the poet). Unfortunately the correct spelling of his name is Housman. Another example is John Houseman the actor and film producer(1902- 1988) Again not a true example as he was born Jacques Haussmann in Budapest. One true Houseman is Peter Houseman (1945-1977) who played football for Chelsea. There is a junior league named in his memory. A more nortorius example is Richard Houseman of Knaresborough. He, together with Eugene Aram, was accused of murdering Daniel Clark in 1744. Houseman turned King's evidence and only Eugene Aram was found guilty and executed. . In 1828, the late Thomas Hood wrote The Dream of Eugene Aram, a poem of thirty-six stanzas. Sir E. B. Lytton (when Mr. Bulwer) published his romance of Eugene Aram in 1831, and dedicated it to Sir Walter Scott.
In 1891 the census lists 615 Houseman's. The majority appear to have been farmers, or connected with agriculture. The ONS list of surnames shows that in Sept 2002 there were 886 recorded instances of the name. The site suggests that this figure be multiplied by 0.93 to take account of deaths giving a total of 824. However, I can find only 211 examples of the name for individuals in the BT on line directory in 2008.
Distribution of the name
In 1891 287 of the individuals listed appear in Yorkshire with 121 in Lancashire. Examples of the name can be found in America, Australia, Canada and South Africa and links to the Darley family of George Houseman have been established.
A DNA project has been started for the Houseman name. If you wish to volunteer to participate please contact me for further details. The Houseman DNA is also pleased to be a contributing member of the wider ranging Nidderdal DNA Project.