Origins Available: English
The surname Cays is derived from the Breton
and Old Welsh
word "Cai," and the Cornish word "Key," both of which meant "wharf." This name became the Middle English given name Kay. Some instances of this surname are no doubt derived from the Old English "Coeg," which meant "key."
Early Origins of the Cays family
The surname Cays was first found in the Pipe Rolls
for Northumbria where Britius filius
Kay is listed there in 1199. Cecilia de Kay was in the Pipe Rolls
in that same year. Another early record in the Pipe Rolls
is of John del Cay in 1207 in London. John del Cai was Sheriff of London in 1201 and may be the same person as the aforementioned Pipe Roll entry. The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list a Jordan Kay but the Yorkshire Poll Tax
records of 1379 has the most entries of the time: Robertus Cay; Alanus Kay; Johanna Caa; and Willelmus Ka. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
One reference claims a more romantic origin of the name: "the family of Kaye is of great antiquity in the county of York, being descended from Sir Kaye, an ancient Briton, and one of the Knights of the warlike Table of that noble Prince Arthur, flower of chivalry!!" CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
"The property [of Thornton in Craven in the West Riding of Yorkshire] belongs to various families, the principal owner being Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart., lord of the several manors." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Cays family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cays research.Another 345 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1372, 1219, 1246 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Cays History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cays Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Cays family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cays family to Ireland
Some of the Cays family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cays family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: James Kay, who arrived in Virginia in 1677; Jonathan Kay, a Minister, who arrived in Maryland in 1711; Edward Kaye, who received a land grant in Virginia in 1724.