Kirsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Kirsay comes 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,  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 or atte, 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 Kirsay, meant "of Kersey." Eventually, the use of de and atte declined, as Old English and Old Norman fused into Old English over the next few centuries.
Early Origins of the Kirsay family
The surname Kirsay 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.  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 Kirsay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirsay research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1616, 1690 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Kirsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kirsay 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. Kirsay has been recorded under many different variations, including Kersey, Kercey, Keresey, Kearsey and others.
Early Notables of the Kirsay family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kirsay family
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 Kirsay 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..