Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Houncell, Houndsell, Hounsall, Hounsill, Hownsell
Category: 3 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.
Contact: Mr Christopher Hounsell
The study started in earnest following the construction of my family tree based on names and dates written by my great grandfather in the back of an 1874 Sussex edition of Kelly's Directory. This was followed in 1988 by membership of several family history societies to verify and expand the tree. A trip to Dorset enabled contact with a cousin who had photographs and knowledge of the family leading back to the eighteenth century. Building on this, a visit to the Dorchester records office when original parish records were still able to be viewed provided a further generation back living in Long Bredy in 1759. That was as far back as I could prove and therefore was the point at which the wider search started.
The most common early variants of the Hounsell surname appear to be Hownsell and Hounsel. There are many other spellings which are either misinterpretations or transcription errors.
The name was understood in my family to have originated from the Huguenots but research has shown that Hounsells were already established well established in Dorset in the sixteenth century.
Could it be derived from a Saxon name or a local place name? For example there is Houns Tout, a promontory on the Dorset South West Coastal Path.
Houns Tout near Chapmans Pool, Dorset
Although still a work in progress a large number of family groups have been identified in the following countries:
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: