An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The ancestors of the bearers of the Carslay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Carslay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Carslay include 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.  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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carslay research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Carslay History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Carslay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Carslay or a variant listed above: James Kearsley settled in Philadelphia in 1859.
The Carslay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carslay 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.