Heysham Arms

The Hissem-Montague Family

Montague Arms

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Welcome to the home page of my web site. Below is my literal home, beautiful San Diego, California.
Welcome also to those of you visiting from the Heysham village website!

While it may eventually become many things, this site is currently dedicated to the genealogy of the Hissem family, but includes references to all the families of Heysham, Hysham, Heesham, Heesam, Heesom, Hesam, Hesom, Hessam, Hessom, Hissam, Hissem, Hissim and Hissom of England, India, the West Indies, Canada, Australia and America, as well as those of Grenet, Gernet, Garnet, Garnett, Montague, Wells, Six, Sixt, Offerman, and Dengler.

As you will read, I believe I can accurately trace my Hissem family back over three hundred years to our first American forebear, John Heesom. He had emigrated from England and was living in the Quaker colony of Burlington, in the Delaware river valley of West Jersey, as early as 1686. Recent Y-DNA test results indicate that John probably came from Yorkshire, England, where members of the Heesom family still live.

I am fairly confident, however, that I have found deeper roots in the northwest of England, in Lancashire county. Members of the Heesom/Heesham/Heysham family have lived in and around the city of Lancaster, and the eponymous village of Heysham a few miles to the west, since the 14th century. This family has traditionally held - perhaps erroneously - that they descended from a junior branch of the Franco-Norman Gernet/Grenet family. The Gernet's held estates in Normandy and in England, including in Lancashire as the King's Forester, in the first centuries after the Conquest. Amongst those estates was the the manor of Heysham. If this relationship is true - and that is a pretty big "if" - then I've been able to trace a 1000 year history for the family.

The Heesom/Hissem family Y-DNA, tested as haplogroup G2a, allows me to push our date and place of origin further back, into the Fertile Crescent of the ancient Middle East where that DNA type originated. Sometime, perhaps as early as the Neolithic, when type G2a were the dominant type bringing farming technology into Europe, or as late as the "barbarian" invasions of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, our family left the Middle East and migrated into northwestern Europe and England. Three members of the Hissem/Hissom family of America and one of the Heesom family of Yorkshire have been tested. See the DNA Origins page for more about this.

I've enjoyed writing this history and I hope you enjoy reading it.

To navigate this site you may go through all the pages sequentially by using the arrow keys at the bottom of each page. This is the story of the family, in order, from the earliest point and is how this story is meant to be read. Alternatively, individual pages may be selected using the menu at the top of the page. Most of the pages are identified by the earliest member of that branch of the family. You may also use the site search engine, below.

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Steve Hissem
San Diego, California

Please write and let me know if you find this site
helpful, you have data to share or you just want
to point out my deficiencies.