Keyse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Keyse comes from when the family resided near a dock, and may have been employed there having derived from the Old French word kay, which became kaye, keye, and keay in Old English. These were all words for docks, or quays. The original bearers of the name undoubtedly lived near some docks, and could easily have been workers there. There is also the possibility that the name is derived from the Latin personal name Caius, a name that dates from the Roman occupation of Britain. There is a record of a Britius filius Kay in 1199, in Northants; filius means "son of." There is a third possibility; in the north of England ka was a word for jackdaw (derived from the Old Scandinavian), and was often applied as a nickname; some nicknames became surnames and this could be one of them. However, the majority of examples of this name found in England are of the local type. This makes this name a polygenetic name, which means that it arose spontaneously at different times and places and meant different things.

Early Origins of the Keyse family

The surname Keyse was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Keyse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keyse research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keyse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keyse Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Keyse has been recorded under many different variations, including Keyes, Key, Keys, Keye, Keyse and others.

Early Notables of the Keyse family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Keyse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Keyse family to Ireland

Some of the Keyse family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Keyse migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Keyse or a variant listed above:

Keyse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Conradt Keyse, aged 23, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1741 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keyse (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Keyse (1722-1800), English still-life painter, and the proprietor of Bermondsey Spa
  • John Keyse Sherwin (1751-1790), English engraver and history-painter, born about 1751 at East Dean, Sussex, where his father, a labourer, was employed in cutting wooden bolts for ships


The Keyse Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In Domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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