Kearsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The lineage of the name Kearsley begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Kearsley belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Kearsley family
The surname Kearsley was first found in Lancashire at Kearsley, now part of Greater Manchester. The first records of the place were found in 1187 when it was spelt Cherselawe and a few years later as Kereleie (c. 1220. ) The name literally means "clearing where cress grows" having derived from the Old English words caerse + leah.  There is another Kearsley, a township in the parish of Stamfordham, in Northumberland, but this township has remained rather small in comparison as a census in the late 1800s listed only 11 inhabitants, while the former township in Lancashire had 3,436 inhabitants in the same census.
Early History of the Kearsley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearsley research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Kearsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kearsley Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kearsley has undergone many spelling variations, including Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.
Early Notables of the Kearsley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kearsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kearsley were among those contributors:
Kearsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Kearsley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
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:
Kearsley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century