The ancient history of the Kersay name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided 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 Kersay,
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 Kersay family
The surname Kersay 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 Kersay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kersay research.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Kersay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kersay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Kersay include Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Kersay family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kersay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kersay family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kersay 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..