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


The ancestors of the Kelsey surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in either North Kelsey or South Kelsey in the county of Lincolnshire. The surname Kelsey 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 Kelsey was first found in Lincolnshire where one of the first records of the name was Brise de Keleseye who was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Peter de Keleseve was listed in the same rolls at the same time. It is in this shire that North and South Kelsey are still found today. Over the many years, North Kelsey has remained a small village and civil parish with a population of 959 in 2001 and this includes the small hamlet of North Kelsey Moor. Today, South Kelsey is still smaller village with a population of 571 in 2001.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kelsey include Kelsey, Kelsy and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelsey research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1645, 1646, 1651, 1667 and 1724 are included under the topic Early Kelsey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kelsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Kelsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Kelsey, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Roger Kelsey settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Francis Kelsey, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • Thomas Kelsey settled in Jamaica in 1690

Kelsey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliza Kelsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Alexander Kelsey, who arrived in New England in 1720
  • John Kelsey, who landed in New England in 1721
  • John Kelsey settled in New England in 1756
  • Steven Kelsey settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766

Kelsey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Kelsey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1830
  • S Kelsey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • B Kelsey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • G W Kelsey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Kelsey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855

Kelsey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Private Kelsey James U.E., "Kelsey, Kelsea, Kelsie, Celsey, Kilsey, Kelley" (b. 1742) born in Connecticut, USA from New York, USA who settled in Elizabeth Town [Elizabethtown], Leeds County, Ontario c. 1785 he enlisted in 1777 serving in the Kings Loyal Americans, Loyal Rangers under Jessups Corps

Kelsey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Richard Kelsey arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • Thomas Kelsey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840

Kelsey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Kelsey arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • W. F. Kelsey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865

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  • Lloyd Albert Kelsey (1897-1948), American tug of war competitor at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Linda Kelsey (b. 1946), American five-time Emmy Award nominated and three-time Golden Globe nominated actress, best known for her role in the television series Lou Grant
  • Oliver S. Kelsey (b. 1855), American Republican politician, Chair of Clinton County Republican Party, 1898-99, 1927; Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Clinton County, 1903-06, 1909
  • Otto Goodell Kelsey (1852-1934), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Livingston County, 1894-1902; New York State Comptroller, 1903-06
  • Robert S. Kelsey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oswego County 3rd District, 1860
  • Samuel Kelsey, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Berlin, 1834-35
  • Sidney D. Kelsey, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Killingworth, 1920
  • Sidney Harrison Kelsey (b. 1910), American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Virginia 2nd District, 1946
  • W. A. Kelsey, American Republican politician, Candidate for Mayor of Meriden, Connecticut, 1899
  • Wilbur H. Kelsey, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bristol, 1914

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  • Brush, Sammis, Kelsey and Allied Families by Fannie M. Neumann.
  • A Genealogy of the Descendants of William Kelsey by Edward A. Claypool.
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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Kelsey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kelsey 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 1 February 2016 at 11:22.

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