Gosset

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Origin of Surname

George Balleine suggests that both Gosset and Gosselin are forms of Jocelyn. However, family historian Evangeline Gosset Newcomer suggests an entirely different derivation of the name:

"History relates explicitly that simple armorial bearings were employed before surnames were established and that, in the tenth century, knights assumed their names which were suggested by their symbols. For combat, in battle, or at tournament a knight presented himself with closed visor and no one knew him except by the symbol he wore. When once some glorious achievement had been associated with his symbol, that sign became a true surname and it became permanent and hereditary.
"It is obvious the symbol, goussé, in the Gossett coat-of-arms was the only armorial device worn by the first knight it represented, and the heraldic significance of this symbol is evidence that the ancient family of Gossett lived in Normandy, France, before their surname was established. The French word, Goussé (pronounced Goo say´), was the early form of the Gossett name. The name and the symbol were identical. Therefore, the goussé symbol designated a chivalrous knight in the very early history of the family and, subsequently, inspired the Goussé name. Goussé became Goussét; finally, Gosset or Gossett.
"Some families continued to use the name Goussé, as found in French volumes among names of nobles of ancient France. And, several soldiers by the name of Goussé served with La Fayette's troops in the American Revolution. At least for some time, other families used Goussét. However, in France, England, and America the name is Gosset or Gossett.
"Goussé is the French word meaning pod, and the phrase, goussé de fèves, means literally pod of beans, or bean-pod. "Pod" and "beans" are word pictures and are of very early date. They have literal significance. Therefore, the goussé symbol, representing a product of the soil, indicates the Gossetts possessed land. Consequently, they were feudal lords."

Although Payne (see below) shows the main Gosset family arriving in Jersey about 1685, the name is known earlier in the island.

  • Jane Gosset (1564- ) married Raulin Luce

From Payne's Armorial of Jersey:


John Gosset, a member of an influential French family, settled in Jersey shortly after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and founded a family now existing in various branches, both in that island and in England. Among its many noteworthy members may be mentioned Matthew Gosset, of Bagot, who, during the first French Revolution, was conspicuously active in his efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of the many noble and other refugees who sought an asylum in Jersey. The exiles were so sensible of his disinterested kindness, that they presented him as a token of their grateful appreciation of his services, with a gold snuff-box, now in the possession of his descendants.

Another eminent member of the family, the late Major- General Sir William Gosset, was for some years Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, at whose death the members of which passed a resolution expressive of the high sense the House entertained of his services.

The Rev Isaac Gosset, of Exeter College, Oxford, was a well-known Greek scholar, and was especially famous as a collector and judge of books. His son, the Rev Isaac Gosset, also of Exeter College, was for 38 years Rector of Datchet, and for 34 years Vicar of New Windsor, both in Buckinghamshire. In May 1818 he was appointed Chaplain at Windsor Castle, an appointment which he held during four reigns, until his death.

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  • Gossett

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Gosset lineages in Jersey

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