Early Origins of the Keymeys family
The surname Keymeys was first found in Gloucestershire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Pickwick or Wickwar, held by Humphrey the Chamberlain, who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086.
Early History of the Keymeys family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keymeys research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1543, 1617, 1641, 1648, 1614, 1658, 1678, 1673, 1702, 1689, 1702, 1688, 1735, 1713, 1715, 1716 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Keymeys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keymeys Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Keymeys are characterized by many spelling variations
. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Keymeys include Kenys, Kemeys, Kemish, Kemis, Keymich and others.
Early Notables of the Keymeys family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Charles Kemeys (c.1614-1658), second child of the Kemeys Baronets, a Welsh
family of landowners in the county of Monmouthshire
, Wales; William Kemeys was High Sheriff
of the County of Monmouth in 1678, and listed in Blome's List of Monmouthshire
Gentry in... Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keymeys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keymeys family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England
at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia
in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Keymeys, or a variant listed above: Samuel Kemys, age 14, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1775; John Kemeys, who came to America in 1767; as well as Elizabeth Kemeys, and William Kemeys, who both came to New York in 1797..