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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Chesney family come from? What is the Scottish Chesney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Chesney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Chesney family history?

The family name Chesney is believed to be descended originally from the Norman people. The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin but were, more accurately, of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 AD, under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 911 AD. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Cheyney, Chainey, Chainie, Cheeney, Cheeny, Cheney, Cheyne and many more.

First found in Buckinghamshire, where William de Chesney (died 1161), an Anglo-Norman magnate during the reign of King Stephen of England was one of the first listed. He held Oxford Castle during King Stephen's reign. Robert de Chesney (died 1166), brother of William de Chesney was a medieval English Bishop of Lincoln. He was an early patron of Thomas Becket, and present during the coronation of King Henry II of England in 1154. He also served King Henry as a royal justice. William de Chesney (died 1174), another brother, was a medieval Anglo-Norman nobleman and Sheriff of Norfolk (c. 1146-1153), Suffolk (c. 1146-1153) and (1156-1163). He also founded Sibton Abbey.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chesney research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1320, 1414, 1399, 1372, 1378, 1390, 1393, 1394, 1399, 1407, 1413, 1442, 1499, 1485, 1558, 1536, 1540, 1587, 1625, 1698, 1660, 1657, 1728, 1671 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Chesney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 593 words(42 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chesney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chesney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • E. Chesney, aged 52, who landed in America, in 1892

Chesney Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Alex Arthur Chesney, aged 7, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Alex George Chesney, aged 45, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • David W Chesney, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States from Edinburgh, in 1903
  • James M. Chesney, aged 58, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1903
  • Eugene Chesney, aged 44, who emigrated to the United States from Capetown, in 1904


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  • Kenneth Arnold "Kenny" Chesney (b. 1968), American country music singer and songwriter
  • Stanley “Stan” Chesney (1910-1978), American soccer goalkeeper
  • Robert M. Chesney, American lawyer and Professor of law
  • Dennis K. Chesney, American astronomer who has discovered over 36 minor planets
  • Marion Chesney (b. 1936), popular and prolific Scottish author
  • Colonel Charles Cornwallis Chesney (1826-1876), English soldier and military writer, Commander of the Royal Engineer of the London district
  • Francis Rawdon Chesney (1789-1872), British soldier and explorer who after emigrating to South Carolina in 1772, served under Lord Rawdon in the American War of Independence
  • Arthur Chesney (1882-1949), born Arthur Kellaway, British actor from London who appeared in 28 films
  • Kris Chesney (b. 1974), English rugby union footballer
  • Sir George Tomkyns Chesney KCB, CSI, CIE (1830-1895), British Army general, brother of Colonel Charles Cornwallis Chesney

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fato prudentia major
Motto Translation: Prudence is greater than fate.

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Chesney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chesney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 July 2014 at 10:58.

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