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

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

The name Keesee is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Keesee belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Keesee were recorded, including Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.

First found in Lancashire at Kearsley, now part of Greater Manchester. The first records of the place were found in 1187 when it was spelt Cherselawe and a few years later as Kereleie (c. 1220. ) The name literally means "clearing where cress grows" having derived from the Old English words caerse + leah. [1] There is another Kearsley, a township in the parish of Stamfordham, in Northumberland, but this township has remained rather small in comparison as a census in the late 1800s listed only 11 inhabitants, while the former township in Lancashire had 3,436 inhabitants in the same census.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keesee research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Keesee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Keesee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Keesee family emigrate to North America: James Kearsley settled in Philadelphia in 1859.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  11. ...

The Keesee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keesee 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 15 July 2013 at 16:02.

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