Keirsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The lineage of the name Keirsay begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in Kersey, a parish in Suffolk. The place-name Kersey is derived from the Old English elements cærse, which means watercress, and eg, the old English word for island. It was recorded as Cæresige c. 995, and as Careseia in the Domesday Book,  compiled in 1086. The name as a total means "island where the watercress grows." The surname is derived from the place-name. In the early Middle Ages, local surnames were often proceeded by the word de or atte, which meant of and at, respectively. This custom was brought to England by the Normans after they conquered the Saxon Nobility at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The surname as a whole, de Keirsay, meant "of Kersey." Eventually, the use of de and atte declined, as Old English and Old Norman fused into Old English over the next few centuries.
Early Origins of the Keirsay family
The surname Keirsay was first found in Suffolk at Kersey, a village and a civil parish in the Babergh district which today includes the hamlets of Kersey Tye, Kersey Upland, Wicker Street Green, and William's Green. Originally part of the hundred of Cosford, it comprised about 1,465 acres and an Augustine priory was founded there at an early period dedicated to St. Mary and St. Anthony; at the Dissolution it was granted to King's College, Cambridge.  Kersey is the name of a coarse woollen cloth having derived its name from kersey yarn and ultimately from the village of Kersey.
Important Dates for the Keirsay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keirsay research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Keirsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keirsay 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 Keirsay has undergone many spelling variations, including Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Keirsay family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keirsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keirsay family
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 Keirsay were among those contributors: Thomas Kersey, who came to the Somers Islands in 1673; John Kersey, who settled in Philadelphia in 1731; as well as Thomas Kersey, who settled in Maryland in 1775..
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- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.