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

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

The ancestors of the Kelsey surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in either North Kelsey or South Kelsey in the county of Lincolnshire. The surname Kelsey belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kelsey include Kelsey, Kelsy and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where one of the first records of the name was Brise de Keleseye who was listed there in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. Peter de Keleseve was listed in the same rolls at the same time. It is in this shire that North and South Kelsey are still found today. Over the many years, North Kelsey has remained a small village and civil parish with a population of 959 in 2001 and this includes the small hamlet of North Kelsey Moor. Today, South Kelsey is still smaller village with a population of 571 in 2001.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelsey research. Another 253 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1645, 1646, 1651, 1667 and 1724 are included under the topic Early Kelsey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kelsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Kelsey Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Kelsey, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Roger Kelsey settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Francis Kelsey, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • Thomas Kelsey settled in Jamaica in 1690

Kelsey Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Kelsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Alexander Kelsey, who arrived in New England in 1720
  • John Kelsey, who landed in New England in 1721
  • John Kelsey settled in New England in 1756
  • Steven Kelsey settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766

Kelsey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Kelsey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1830
  • S Kelsey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • B Kelsey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • G W Kelsey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Kelsey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855


  • Fred Kelsey (1884-1961), American actor and director
  • Benjamin S. Kelsey (1906-1981), American Air Force test pilot and aeronautical engineer, recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit and the Air Medal
  • Frances Oldham Kelsey (b. 1914), American pharmacologist
  • William H. Kelsey (1855-1859), U.S. Congressman
  • Linda Kelsey (b. 1946), American five-time Emmy Award nominated and three-time Golden Globe nominated actress, best known for her role in the television series Lou Grant
  • Lloyd Albert Kelsey (1897-1948), American tug of war competitor at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Jack Kelsey, Welsh football goalkeeper
  • Alfred John "Jack" Kelsey (1929-1992), Welsh international football goalkeeper, regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to play for Wales, inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2010


  • Brush, Sammis, Kelsey and Allied Families by Fannie M. Neumann.
  • A Genealogy of the Descendants of William Kelsey by Edward A. Claypool.

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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. 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.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Kelsey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kelsey 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 26 May 2014 at 22:06.

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