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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Southey is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Southey family lived in Lincolnshire, at Sotebi, from which their name is derived. The surname Southey is thus, a local name, which means it derived from the name of a place where members of the family once owned land or where they may have resided.

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The surname Southey was first found in Lincolnshire where Ralph of Sotby held the village and church of Sotebi from the Bishop of Bayeux. This village church is still famous for its Norman chancel arch.

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 Southey include Sotheby, Sothaby, Sotherby, Southerby, Southby, Southey and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Southey research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1450, 1594, 1683, 1654, 1656, 1623, 1704 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Southey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Southey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Southeys to arrive on North American shores:

Southey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Southey, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Henry and Elizabeth Southey who settled in Virginia with their children Mary and Thomas in 1623
  • Mrs. Southey, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Ann Southey, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624

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  • Robert Southey (1774-1843), English romantic poet
  • Reginald Southey (1835-1899), English physician
  • Caroline Anne Southey (1786-1854), English poet, second wife of Robert Southey
  • Robert Southey (1774-1843), English poet
  • Colonel Richard George Southey CB CMG (1844-1909), South African colonial military commander
  • Sir Richard Southey KCMG (1808-1901), South African colonial administrator and cabinet minister


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Southey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Southey 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 5 September 2013 at 14:40.

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