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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Keesee is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Keesee belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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The surname Keesee 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. [1] 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.

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Keesee were recorded, including Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keesee research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Keesee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Keesee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Keesee family emigrate to North America: James Kearsley settled in Philadelphia in 1859.

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  • E. P. Keesee, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1940


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Keesee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keesee Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 October 2015 at 09:47.

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