Keesay is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon
origin and comes from a family once having lived in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire
. The surname Keesay 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 Keesay family
The surname Keesay 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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 Keesay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keesay research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Keesay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keesay Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Keesay has been recorded under many different variations, including Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.
Early Notables of the Keesay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Keesay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keesay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Keesay or a variant listed above: James Kearsley settled in Philadelphia in 1859.