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The surname HUNNISETT has at least 24 variants, the most common being HONEYSETT. Rather more rare are HONYSET and HONISON. The name was first found in England in the early 16th century in the Sussex Weald, belonging to iron workers.
The Denization Rolls of 1541 list: Jakes Hanyset from France - in England 24 years, having an alien wife. Adrian Hanyset from France - in England 18 years, having an English Wife. Although described as 'from France' it is now believed that they came from the Namur district of the 'Seventeen Provinces' which later became Belgium and part of the Ntherlands, and was a French-speaking (Walloon) area.
A Belgian Dictionary of Surnames explains the origin as coming from Johannes, which had the familiar form Hanosse. This acquired the diminutive form of Hanosset or Hanozet (Little Hannosse). The forms Aniset, Anizet Hanizet and Hannuzet are found in Belgium but not in England, which has its own set of variants.
I have been studying the name for many years and have helped a number of people to trace their line back to Adrian Hanyset.
- Hedley Hunnisett