The present generation of the Keresay family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. Their name comes from having 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, CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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
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 Keresay,
meant "of Kersey." Eventually, the use of de
declined, as Old English and Old Norman fused into Old English over the next few centuries.
Early Origins of the Keresay family
The surname Keresay 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Kersey is the name of a coarse woollen cloth having derived its name from kersey yarn and ultimately from the village of Kersey.
Early History of the Keresay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keresay research.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Keresay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keresay Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Keresay include Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Keresay family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keresay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keresay family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Keresay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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..