The name Kerss is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when a 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, 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 Kerss,
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 Kerss family
The surname Kerss 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 Kerss family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerss research.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Kerss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kerss Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Kerss family name include Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Kerss family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kerss family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Kerss surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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..