Kercey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the name Kercey date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Kercey family 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 Kercey, 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 Kercey family
The surname Kercey 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 Kercey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kercey research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Kercey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kercey Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Kercey are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Kercey include: Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Kercey family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kercey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kercey family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Kercey or a variant listed above: 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..
- ^ 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.