Select Hammond Surname Genealogy

Hammond was a name introduced to England by the Normans.  Its origin was from one of a number of personal names at that time - the Norman Hamo or Hamon or the Old Norse Hamundr or Amundr - which in time all got blended into Hammond.  The Norman Hamo came to England after Hastings and was a prominent royal steward during the reigns of William I and William II. 

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England.   Hammond spellings in England were various until the 16th century, and then stabilized.  These Hammonds were to be found mainly in the home counties and in East Anglia, a situation in terms of the Hammond name distribution that was to prevail under the beginning of the 20th century.

Sussex and Kent.  Richard Hamond was recorded in Sussex tax rolls of 1332 and the Hammond name has also been associated with Battle abbey in Sussex.  Hamo was elected its abbot in 1364 and he gallantly fought off French raiders in 1377.  John Hammond was its last abbot in 1529 before the dissolution of the monasteries.  A later John Hammond built a gunpowder mill next to the abbey in 1676.  Meanwhile Hammonds at Angmering in Sussex dated from the 16th century and possibly earlier.

Thomas Hammond purchased St. Albans Court near Nonington in Kent in 1551 after the dissolution of the monasteries.  An early 18th century descendant Anthony Hammond, an MP and a poet, was known as "silver-tongued Hammond."  However, his gift of the gab failed him later on and he ended up in debtors' prison. Financial propriety returned as a later Hammond of this family, William O. Hammond, headed up Hammond & Co, a Canterbury bank, in the mid 19th century.

East Anglia.  The Hammond name was also to be found in East Anglia..  The name Richard Hammond was recorded in a legal document in Norfolk in 1331.  Thomas Hammond was lord of the manor of Cresseners in Suffolk in the 16th century.  Another Hammond family was local gentry at Ubbeston in Suffolk at this time.  Later Hammonds were to be found at Ufford and Lawshall in the same county.

Ireland.  The Norman Hamon name was said to have been brought to Ireland by two Hamon brothers who settled at Portarlington in Laios.  The Hammond name in 1890 was mainly found in Donegal.  One line there has been traced back to Andrew Hammond of Ballydermot in the 1750's.

America.  Hammonds were among the early arrivals to New England.  Hammond lines come from:
  • William Hammond from Lavenham in Suffolk who came to Boston in 1632 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.  His cousin Thomas Hammond settled in Hingham nearby and later in Newton.  Later Hammonds were pioneer settlers in Ohio, Theodore Hammond arriving there in 1814.
  • and Benjamin Hammond from London who arrived on the Griffin in 1634 and settled in Sandwich, Massachusetts.
There were Hammonds from St. Albans in Kent in Virginia by the 1630's.  Samuel Hammond from Virginia fought in the Revolutionary War and later settled in Savannah, Georgia where he prospered as a merchant. He and his family moved in 1824 to his plantation on the Savannah river near Augusta.

Maryland.  John Hammond of the Isle of Wight arrived in Maryland in the 1660ís, a young man and a Quaker.  He later renounced his faith.  Instead he married into one of America's most distinguished families, the Howards.  They were neighbors of his in the Middle Neck hundred, some nine miles west of where he helped to lay out the town of Annapolis, Maryland in 1684.  His family line was traced in a book published in 1880 entitled The Hammond Families of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Frederick Counties, Maryland. 

From this family came William Hammond, an army surgeon and patriarch of a family which included two army surgeon sons and a third son Richard who fought in the Mexican War, came out west in the California gold rush, and was the father of that famous industrialist and mining engineer John Hays HammondJohn's son John Hays Hammond Jr. patented more than 400 inventions and is widely regarded as the father of radio control.

Australia.  Thomas Hammond was one of 156 convicts transported to Sydney on the Neptune in 1820.  His son Robert was a stock and station agent, his grandson Robert a prominent evangelical clergyman and social reformer.

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

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John Hammond was the court physician to King James I in the early 1600's.
John Hays Hammond was a famous industrialist and mining engineer who made his first fortune in South Africa and his second in California.
Wally Hammond was a leading English cricketer and batsman of the 1930's.
John Hammond was the American record producer who discovered such artists as Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan.
Joan Hammond was an Australian champion golfer of the 1930's and an opera star of the 1940's and 50's.

Select Hammonds Today
  • 30,000 in the UK (most numerous in Suffolk)
  • 26,000 in America (most numerous in California) 
  • 15,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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