Kay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname Kay is derived from the Breton and Old Welsh word "Cai," and the Cornish word "Key," both of which meant "wharf." This name became the Middle English given name Kay. Some instances of this surname are no doubt derived from the Old English "Coeg," which meant "key."

Early Origins of the Kay family

The surname Kay was first found in the Pipe Rolls for Northumbria where Britius filius Kay is listed there in 1199. Cecilia de Kay was in the Pipe Rolls for Gloucestershire in that same year. Another early record in the Pipe Rolls is of John del Cay in 1207 in London. John del Cai was Sheriff of London in 1201 and may be the same person as the aforementioned Pipe Roll entry. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list a Jordan Kay but the Yorkshire Poll Tax records of 1379 has the most entries of the time: Robertus Cay; Alanus Kay; Johanna Caa; and Willelmus Ka. [2]

One reference claims a more romantic origin of the name: "the family of Kaye is of great antiquity in the county of York, being descended from Sir Kaye, an ancient Briton, and one of the Knights of the warlike Table of that noble Prince Arthur, flower of chivalry!!" [3]

"The property [of Thornton in Craven in the West Riding of Yorkshire] belongs to various families, the principal owner being Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart., lord of the several manors." [4]

Important Dates for the Kay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kay research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1372, 1219, 1246, 1480, 1480, 1506, 1510, 1573, 1510, 1572 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Kay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kay, Kaye and others.

Early Notables of the Kay family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Caius or Kay sometimes called the Elder ( fl. 1480), an English poet and author of an English poem relating the history of the siege of Rhodes unsuccessfully undertaken by Mahommed II in 1480. His book "was printed in London in 1506, but has no printer's name, and although some of the type resembles that used by Caxton." [5] John Caius (1510-1573), "occasionally referred to as John Caius, junior, in order to distinguish him from another John Caius [q. v.] who was poet laureate to Edward IV, was an eminent scholar and physician of...
Another 102 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kay family to Ireland

Some of the Kay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kay migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Kay, who arrived in Virginia in 1677
Kay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jonathan Kay, a Minister, who arrived in Maryland in 1711
  • Francis Kay, who settled in New England in 1751
  • Alexander Kay, who arrived in New York city in 1775
  • George Kay, who landed in New York in 1795 [6]
Kay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Kay, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [6]
  • Alexander Kay, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [6]
  • Francis Kay, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1815 [6]
  • Eliza Kay, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [6]
  • James Kay, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Kay migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Brian Kay, who settled in Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia with his wife, Dorothy, his brother Robert, and five children in 1774
  • Brian Kay, who settled in Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia with his wife, Dorothy, his brother, Robert, and five children in 1774
  • Mr. Kay George U.E. who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1784 [7]
  • William Kay, who arrived in Montreal, Canada in 1793
Kay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robert Kay, aged 25, a merchant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Aurora" from London, England
  • Mr. George Kay, aged 36 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "John Jardine" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle In July 1847 [8]

Kay migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Kay, a plasterer, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Joseph Kay, a gunsmith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Hector Kay, a shoemaker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Kay, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Joseph Kay, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Kay 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:

Kay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Adam Kay, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [11]
  • Mrs. Jane Kay, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [11]
  • Mr. D. Kay, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 [12]
  • Mrs. Kay, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 [12]
  • Miss Agnes Kay, Scottish settler from Stirling travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Strathfieldsaye" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 29th April 1858 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Kay (post 1700)

  • Beatrice Kay (1906-1986), American actress/singer
  • Hershy Kay (1919-1981), American composer
  • James H. Kay, American Republican politician, Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, 1913-23 [13]
  • J. Kay, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Camden County, 1852 [13]
  • Isaac Kay, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Gloucester County, 1780 [13]
  • Herma Hill Kay, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972 [13]
  • Frank J. Kay, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 1st District, 1952 [13]
  • Ellamay Kay, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1964 [13]
  • Ed Kay, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1920 [13]
  • Dorothy L. Kay, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1928 [13]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Kay family

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Samuel Kay (b. 1923), Scottish Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Glasgow, Scotland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Norman Kay (b. 1915), English Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Gateshead, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
  • Master Robert Belsher Kay, American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in a collapsible [15]
  • Mrs. Marguerita Kay, English 2nd Class passenger residing in Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [15]

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Citations

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 36)
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1834
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
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