Show ContentsCressy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Cressy family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cressy 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 Cressy family

The surname Cressy 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 Cressy family

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

Cressy Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Cressy include Creasey, Cressy, Crecy, Cressi, Crease, Cresey and others.

Early Notables of the Cressy family

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 (1605-1674), was the birth name of Dom Serenus Cressy, O.S.B, an E...

United States Cressy migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Cressys to arrive on North American shores:

Cressy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Cressy, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [3]
Cressy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Cressy, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [3]
Cressy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A E Cressy, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

New Zealand Cressy 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:

Cressy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Julia Cressy, (b. 1844), aged 20, British needlewoman travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1865 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cressy (post 1700) +

  • David Cressy, American historian and Humanities Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University
  • Joe Cressy (b. 1984), Canadian politician, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina) (2014-), son of Gordon Cressy
  • Harold Cressy (1889-1916), South African headteacher and activist, the first Coloured person to gain a degree in South Africa
  • Gordon Cressy (b. 1943), Canadian former politician, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 7 (1978-1982)
  • Theodore Cressy Skeat (1907-2003), British librarian at the British Museum

  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)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook