Empson is an English surname. It is, according to most sources, derived from "Emma's Son," and is of the same derivation as Emson, Emeson, and Emerson. The name dates from the Danish invasion of England between the years 800-1000 A.D. when many Englishmen adopted the Scandinavian suffix "son." There are many other English surnames such as Thompson, Simpson, and Wilson that date from that same period and have the same construction.

The first common use of the name in its present form is probably also the most famous. Sir Richard Empson was born in Towcester, Northampton, England around 1440, the son of a wealthy merchant. He was educated as a lawyer; he was Speaker of the House of Commons In 1491, and he was a minister to King Henry VII for whom he collected taxes. He was not popular with the people among whom he was known as a "ravenous wolf." When Henry VIII came to the throne, he gained popularity with his subjects by hanging Sir Richard Empson in 1510.

The other well-known person with the name of Empson is much more recent; in fact, he died within the last 15 years. He was William Empson, born in 1906 in Yorkshire, England. He became an internationally famous poet and writer, and his biography appears in most of the biographical dictionaries as well as the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

But, of course, the most important Empson of all is yourself. And that is what this home page is about. Empson is not a common name, even in England. A few Empsons can be found in almost any country, but my guess is that there are only a few root families. In 1984, I contacted most of the Empsons in the United States, and, using information I gathered from them, divided them into 15 families, some of which may have been interrelated. All of these Empsons had come from England.


Compiled and Edited by:
Donald Lawrence Empson
Amy Eileen Empson

Available from:
Donald Empson
1206 N. Second St.
Stillwater, MN 55082


Some of the Empson family given names:
Adrian George Ailwyn Alan Sam
Alexander Alfred Walter Alice E.
Alice F. Alice Handley Amy Christine
Andrew Mather Anna Elizabeth Arlette Rose
Arnold Allen Arthur Arthur Deming
Artie Levi Asher Athena Marie
Azariah Homes Azariah P. Barbara Ann
Barbara Jean Batie Wilbert Becky
Belle Benjamen Berl Leonard
Bert W. Bessie Lucille Beth Ann
Betty Joan Betty Lou Beulah
Beverly Beverly Elaine Bilby Roger
Bobby Lee Bonnie Lee Brant William
Brenda Lee Brian Randall Brian Walter

Some of the families interrelated with the Empsons:
Addison Allen Alley
Allsup Altemeyer Alvey
Amos Andre Arnberger
Arpin Bachman Backus
Bake Bales Barry
Batt Baugh Begnoche
Behm Behr Belcher
Berry Bickers Bickle
Biggs Black Blackburn
Blake Blitz Boatwright
Bodger Bodinus Boimilla
Boraas Boswell Botts
Bowman Bracey Bradley
Brase Breckon Brewer
Brown Bryan Buckley
Budd Byrne Carter
Carver Champion Collins
Changstrom Clarkson Clayborne
Copeland Cote Craft
Cronau Currie Curry
Dalbo Dana Darnall

If there was to be a single place where the first Empson family originated, it would be in the ancient parish of Snaith in the city of Goole, at the conflux of the rivers Ouse and Dutch near the port city of Hull, Yorkshire, England. As early as 1540, the name occurs in land documents in this area. It was from this place that the first emigration to America took place.

The Internet offers a unique and awesome way of bringing like minded-and like named-people together. If you are interested in knowing more about the Empson family name, or if you would like to contribute your genealogical information to this page in hopes that you will be able to connect with another lost member of your family back a generation or two or three, check in with me at (Don Empson).

Join with me to make this a more useful and interesting page of interest to those few with the surname of EMPSON.

  • Empson Family Newsletter


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