Early Origins of the Keemiss family
The surname Keemiss was first found in Gloucestershire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Pickwick or Wickwar, held by Humphrey the Chamberlain, who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086.
Early History of the Keemiss family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keemiss research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1543, 1617, 1641, 1648, 1614, 1658, 1678, 1673, 1702, 1689, 1702, 1688, 1735, 1713, 1715, 1716 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Keemiss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keemiss 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 Keemiss include Kenys, Kemeys, Kemish, Kemis, Keymich and others.
Early Notables of the Keemiss family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Charles Kemeys (c.1614-1658), second child of the Kemeys Baronets, a Welsh
family of landowners in the county of Monmouthshire
, Wales; William Kemeys was High Sheriff
of the County of Monmouth in 1678, and listed in Blome's List of Monmouthshire
Gentry in... Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keemiss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keemiss family to the New World and Oceana
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 Keemisss to arrive on North American shores: Samuel Kemys, age 14, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1775; John Kemeys, who came to America in 1767; as well as Elizabeth Kemeys, and William Kemeys, who both came to New York in 1797..