Isnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Isnay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Isnay family lived in Lincolnshire. This family was originally from Isigny, in Calvados, Normandy, and it is from the local form of this place-name, D'Isigny, literally translating as from Isigny, that their surname derives. [1]

Early Origins of the Isnay family

The surname Isnay was first found in Lincolnshire where they "settled for many years at Norton D'Isney" [2]

Now named Norton Disney, the small village and civil parish is on the western boundary of the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire. The first reference of the place name was found in 1331 as Norton Isny and was held by the de Isney family since the 12th century. [3]

Leland, in his Itinerary, p. 29, in enumerating the gentry of the Kesteven division of Lincolnshire, mentions "Disney, alias de Iseney; he dwelleth at Diseney, and of his name and line be gentlemen of Fraunce. Ailesham Priory by Thorney Courtoise was of the Diseney's foundation, and there divers of them buryed and likewise at Diseney." Lambert de Isney, of Norton D'Isney, co. Lincoln, is the first of the name mentioned in the public records. His descendants, of nightly degree, were seated for a long series of generations in Lincolnshire, representing the county in parliament, and allying with its best families. The present male representation vests in the family of Disney of the Hyde in Essex. [4]

Early History of the Isnay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Isnay research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1677, 1730 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Isnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Isnay Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Disney, Deisney, D'Isney and others.

Early Notables of the Isnay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William D'Isney, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire; and Sir Henry Disney of Norton Disney (died 1641) progenitor of the present family. [2] John Disney (1677-1730), was an English divine...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Isnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Isnay family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Isnay or a variant listed above: William Disney who settled in Maryland in 1740.



The Isnay Motto +

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: Vincit qui patitur
Motto Translation: He conquers who endures.


  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. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.


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