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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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.


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.


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.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chesney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

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

Chesney Settlers in 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


  • Dennis K. Chesney, American astronomer who has discovered over 36 minor planets
  • Robert M. Chesney, American lawyer and Professor of law
  • Stanley “Stan” Chesney (1910-1978), American soccer goalkeeper
  • Kenneth Arnold "Kenny" Chesney (b. 1968), American country music singer and songwriter
  • Marion Chesney (b. 1936), popular and prolific Scottish author
  • Maxine Mackler Chesney (b. 1942), United States federal judge from San Francisco, California
  • Alan Chesney (b. 1949), New Zealand field hockey player
  • Sir George Tomkyns Chesney KCB, CSI, CIE (1830-1895), British Army general, brother of Colonel Charles Cornwallis Chesney
  • Kris Chesney (b. 1974), English rugby union footballer
  • Arthur Chesney (1882-1949), born Arthur Kellaway, British actor from London who appeared in 28 films



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. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. 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).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. 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 17 August 2015 at 20:26.

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