Rushville, IN, USA
rrhammons@rrhammons.com

Hamond Surname

 

Etymology

 

The etymology (1) of the surname HAMOND shows that it appears among the very earliest surnames found in England where it was introduced at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066.  Etymology also reveals three possible sources for this name.  I’ll briefly look at each, beginning with the least probable to the most likely as our name source.

 

Egyptian

Amun was one of the most powerful gods in ancient Egypt. At the height of Egyptian civilization he was called the 'King of the Gods'.  Some have suggested that one variation of the name, HAMUND, derives from AMUN.  At first glance it can easily be seen how that leap can be made, but there is no real evidence for this.  A Google search of Hammon-ra does direct you to Amun (2) and Amon-ra (3) links.  The Greeks and Romans typically did spell the Egyptian god Amun as Hammon or Hamon and the Romans actually created an amalgamation of their god Jupiter and the Egyptian god Amun and it was known as Jupiter-Hammon (4).  However, I feel confident that our surname did not come from this source.

 

Biblical/Hebrew

HAMMON and HAMON are found in the Bible in several places.  It is identified as a city in 1 Chronicles 6:76 - “And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs.”  It is also found in Joshua 19:28 -  “And Hebron, and Rhob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;”  

 

While it is not spelled as HAMMON in the English version of the Bible, HAMMON Google searches in the Bible also typically return the passage concerning another city, Hammath.  The etymology of both contains the base meaning having to do with “hot” and or “warm springs.”  Joshua 19:35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,”.

 

HAMON in the Bible is always found in relation to GOG or BAAL.  Ezekiel 39:11 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.  Ezekiel 39:15 - And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.

 

Baal-Hamon, Ba’al-Hamon or Baal-Hammon is the chief god of the Phoenicians, but is also the place name of where King Solomon’s vineyard is located.  Song of Solomon 8:11 - Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

 

While HAMMON and HAMON have several biblical references and possibly could have found its way into our surname, the most probable etymology I believe lies elsewhere.

 

Scandinavian

The earliest known seat of the surname was found in county Norfolk in England.  This is also where our most distant known ancestor (MDKA) was from.  Many individuals who fought for William The Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 were given land as rewards for their support, including lands in Norfolk.  The name HAMON, both as a first name and a family name was known to exist among several Normans.  While not all Normans were descendants of Scandinavians, many, if not most, were.  The Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy was Rollo.  Rollo’s national origin is not certain, but a biography of Rollo, written by the cleric Dudo of Saint-Quentin (5) in the late 10th Century, claimed that Rollo was from Denmark (6).  Other ancient chroniclers also claim he was the brother of a Norwegian king.  Rollo seized Rouen (France) in AD876 and the King of France conceded coastal cities and provinces to Rollo, forming what we know as Normandy.  William the Conqueror is the 3rd great grandson of Rollo.

 

The origin of our HAMOND surname (and its variations) most likely comes from Scandinavian roots.  The Scandinavian name “Hámundr” is found in Old Danish and Old Swedish as HAMUND.  It occurs in west Scandinavia from the time of the settlement of Iceland and remained popular though it began to decline in Norway.  It is believed to occur in the Anglo-Scandinavian names HAMUND, HAMMUND, and HAMOND (7).

 

Spelling Variations

 

Our surname has at least 9 spelling variations.  All but one are currently being used by descendants of John Hamonde (ca 1500-1546; MDKA) of Scarning, Norfolk, England.  The HAMONDE spelling has only been found in association with our MDKA.  This spelling was found consistently throughout his will, of which I have a copy.  While anyone who could not read or write was at the mercy of the recorder, I found that adding an “e” to the end of HAMOND was common prior to 1700 (8), so this spelling is not completely out of the ordinary.

 

The other variations in the descendants of John Hamonde (MDKA) include: HAMON · HAMOND · HAMONDS · HAMONS · HAMMON · HAMMOND · HAMONDS · HAMMONS.

 

My database as of July 2018 contains 2,766 HAM(M)ON(D)(S) (from here out spelled as HAMOND for simplicity) who are descendants of our MDKA.  They include descendants of Rev. William Hammon (ca.1713-1793), Ambrose Hammon (ca.1725-1794), James Hammon (1730-1763), and Joseph Hammon (ca.1753-1829).  It does not include descendants of John Hammon, Jr. because I do not have those names and currently we have no paper trail confirming that our DNA-brick walled-brethren actually descend from him.  The fact that we have at least 4 different lines that are genetic matches to this tree, we assume with high confidence that those lines probably do descend from John Hammon, Jr., but remain unproven documentarily.  His son, John Hammon III, appears in the 1820 census from Hall County, Georgia with several other Hamond individuals who are from these unattached branches.  They most likely moved from North Carolina into and through South Carolina before settling in Georgia.  Unfortunately, South Carolina libraries and courthouses were burned in Sherman’s march to the sea, destroying a huge amount of data that probably would have provided paper-proof of their link to this tree.

 

Based on my current data, here is the breakdown of the various spellings of our surname among descendants of our MDKA:

 

HAMMOND

38.5%

HAMMONS

21.1%

HAMON

16.0%

HAMMON

11.2%

HAMMONDS

7.8%

HAMONS

3.3%

HAMOND

1.9%

HAMONDS

0.2%

 

The variant HAMOND is almost exclusively found in our ancestors in England (1 individual in America) while HAMONDS thus far is found in only one American family.  Here are the top three variations for each of the 4 brothers:

 

Rev. William Hammon – HAMMOND(40%) · HAMMONS(36%) · HAMONS(14%)

Ambrose Hammon – HAMON(67%) · HAMMOND(16%) · HAMMON(15%)

James Hammon – HAMMOND(38%) · HAMMONS(33%) · HAMMON(22%)

Joseph Hammon – HAMMOND(64%) · HAMMONDS(24%) · HAMMONS(11%)

 

How does your surname spelling rank among surname populations in America in 2010? (9).

 

 

Rank

Per 100,000

Total

HAMMOND

442

23.57

69,515

HAMONDS

2,839

4.31

12,710

HAMMONS

3,206

3.82

11,273

HAMMON

7,520

1.50

4,424

HAMON

14,651

0.69

2,031

HAMONS

52,037

0.14

399

HAMOND

76,275

0.09

252

HAMONDS*

NR

NA

NA

HAMONDE*

NR

NA

NA

* - too few to make the list.

 

(1) Etimology – the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.

(2) htttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amun

(3) https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/Amon-Ra

(4) http://www.livius.org/articles/place/ammon-siwa/ammon-deity/?

(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudo_of_Saint-Quentin

(6) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo#Origins_and_historiography

(7) http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONMensNames.shtml

(8) http://www.geocities.ws/rfdcolorado/hammond_name_and_its_origin.htm

(9) https://projects.newsday.com/databases/long-island/census-last-names/?offset=0

 


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Rodney R. Hammons

433 N Main Street
Rushville, IN 46173

1.337.499.8674

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