Kingsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Kingsley is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Kingsley family lived in one of the places called Kingsley in Cheshire or Staffordshire having derived from the Old English word cyningesleah, which means wood or clearing of the king. [1] Thus, Kingsley is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Kingsley family

The surname Kingsley was first found in Cheshire where a "township and estate, the property of Sir Ranulph de Kingsley before 1128 was found. In the XVIII century the family divided into two branches, the younger continuing the name of Kingsley, the elder adopting that of De Aula or Hale." [2] Another early listing of the name was Adam de Kyngeslegh who was listed in East Cheshire. [3] Kingsley is a township, civil parish and a village in the parish of Frodsham, union of Runcorn. [4] It was first listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Chingeslie. [5]

One of the first records of the family was Kynsige, Kinsius, Kinsi or Cynesige (d. 1060), Archbishop of York "who, it is said, was brought into the world by a Caesarean operation." [6]

Early History of the Kingsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kingsley research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kingsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kingsley Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Kingsley has been recorded under many different variations, including Kingsley, Kingsleigh, Kingslee, Kinsey and others.

Early Notables of the Kingsley family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kingsley migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Kingsleys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Kingsley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Kingsley, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • William Kingsley, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [7]
  • Steven Kingsley, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Kingsley, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630-1634 [7]
  • John Kingsley, who settled in Salem and was a prominent Quaker in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kingsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Kingsley, who landed in America in 1811 [7]

Australia Kingsley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kingsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Kingsley, aged 46, a porter, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Eliza" [8]
  • Samuel Kingsley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1849 [8]

New Zealand Kingsley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kingsley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Kingsley, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th October 1859 [9]
  • Mrs. Kingsley, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th October 1859 [9]
  • Child Kingsley, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th October 1859 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kingsley (post 1700) +

  • Gershon Kingsley (1922-2019), born Götz Gustav Ksinski, German-born, American composer, a pioneer of electronic music and the Moog synthesizer, one half of the music duo Perrey and Kingsley
  • Robert Gibson "Bob" Kingsley (1939-2019), American country music radio host of American Country Countdown (ACC) from 1978 to 2005 and Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 from 2006 until his death in 2019
  • Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. (1765-1843), English-born, American plantation owner, slave trader, and merchant, known for his leniency and tolerance
  • John Sterling Kingsley (1854-1929), American professor of biology and zoology
  • Sidney Kingsley (1906-1995), American playwright
  • Second Lieutenant David R Kingsley (1918-1944), American Army Air Force officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Sir Ben Kingsley CBE (b. 1943), born Krishna Pandit Bhanji, an English Academy Award, BAFTA, two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winning actor, he won an Oscar for his performance as Indian leader Gandhi in the 1982 film "Gandhi"
  • Henry Kingsley (1830-1876), English novelist, brother of Charles Kingsley
  • Matthew "Matt" Kingsley (1875-1960), English football goalkeeper
  • Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), English Church of England priest, university professor, historian, novelist and close friend and correspondent with Charles Darwin
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lee, Sir Stanley, Dictionary of National Biography. London: The MacMillan Company 1909. Print
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELIZA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Eliza.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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