Origins of surname
We have not found a specific derivation for Houssel, but it seems highly likely that it is a variant of Houssin, a name common in Normandy. There are various theories for the origin of this name. Some suggest that it indicates an area covered in holly - houx, others that it comes from the Normandy personal names Hoursin and Oursin, suggesting a diminuitive of ours = bear. A third suggestion is that is is derived from the old French hoce or house = long dress or coat. You take your choice! A man in a long coat being chased by a bear through a holly thicket, perhaps.
The name arrived in Jersey through the emigration from France (probably Normandy) of labourer Francois Aimable Pierre Houssel (1834- ) and his charlady wife Henriette Louise Grossouin. They had eight children born in Jersey as they moved between St Brelade, Grouville and St Peter.
For a name which arrived in Jersey relatively late, there is a surprising number of variations in spelling. It may well be that some of these are transcription errors, and we are still researching to try to establish how many different families are represented in the listing of births and baptisms below. Houssin, found only in Trinity, would appear to be an entirely separate family from Houssel.
Some of the births of those shown in the tree below were registered as Catherine dit Houssel, but we have been unable to discover how this variation originated.
- Catherine dit Houssel
- de Housset
- Le Housset
- La Houselle
- Houssaie, not found in Jersey
- Houssais, not found in Jersey
- Houssaye, not found in Jersey
- Houssel baptisms in Jersey
- Houssel marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Houssel marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Houssel burials in Jersey
Great War service
- Francis John Houssel (1894- ) (St H) son of Eugene John and Mary Jane Julie Houssel, ex-RMIJ, Private, RGA
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