Cressey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cressey is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Cressey family lived in Northumberland. The family originally lived in Crecy (Cressy), Normandy. The name was "from the Lordship so named, near Dieppe and Rouen. Hugh de Cressy, and Simon, occur in Normandy 1180-1195. Anselm and Gilbert de Cressy c. 1119 held lands from the Earls of Warrenne in England." [1] The same source continues with another possible origin. "Hugh de Cresseio was of Huntingdonshire, 1130. He was son of Guy le Roux, Lord of Creci in La Brie, Senschal of France." [1]

Early Origins of the Cressey family

The surname Cressey was first found in Norfolk at Beeston Regis, a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham. "Here are some remains, consisting chiefly of the west end of the church, with a small tower, and part of the chapter-house, of a priory of Augustine canons, founded in the reign of John by Lady Isabel de Cressey, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £50. 6. 4." [2] Hugh de Cressy (died 1189) was an Anglo-Norman administrator and nobleman. Unfortunately little more is known of both people.

The Battle of Crécy (Cressy) was fought on 26 August 1346 near Créy, in northern France. This important English victory over the much larger French army led by Philip VI of France was due to tactical flexibility learned from battles with the Vikings, Muslims and the Scots.

Early History of the Cressey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cressey research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1390, 1450, 1605, 1674 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Cressey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cressey Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Creasey, Cressy, Crecy, Cressi, Crease, Cresey and others.

Early Notables of the Cressey family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Hugh Cressy, English politician, Member of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1390. Robert Cressy ( fl. 1450?), was a Carmelite, a student at Oxford, where he distinguished himself as a theologian. Hugh Paulinus Cressy...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cressey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cressey migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Cressey name or one of its variants:

Cressey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Cressey, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]
Cressey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Cressey, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [3]

New Zealand Cressey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cressey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Cressey, aged 40, a plasterer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Margaret Cressey, aged 41, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Cressey (post 1700) +

  • Roger W. Cressey (b. 1965), American former member of the United States National Security Council staff
  • Donald R. Cressey (1919-1987), American penologist, sociologist, and criminologist from Fergus Falls, Minnesota
  • George Babcock Cressey (1896-1963), American geographer, author, and academic from Tiffin, Ohio
  • Ingemar Cressey (b. 1980), South African semi professional surfer


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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