Nancay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Nancay history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Nancay history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Nancay family originally lived in the village of Nanfan, in Cornwall. Members of the family were involved in the blacksmith trade and prior to the 18th century often went by the occupational name Trengove, from the Cornish words tren meaning strong, and angove, meaning smith. Many used the name Trengoff of Nance.
Early Origins of the Nancay family
The surname Nancay was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times.
The manor of Truthal in the parish of Sithney, Cornwall was "granted to the family of Nants or Nance, [after the Reformation] who were succeeded in the possession by the Arundells of Tolverne." 
Early History of the Nancay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nancay research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1720, 1521, 1561, 1553, 1547 and 1547 are included under the topic Early Nancay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nancay Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Nance, Trengove, Trengoff, Trengrove and others.
Early Notables of the Nancay family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nancay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nancay family to Ireland
Some of the Nancay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nancay family
Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Nancay: Alice Nance and her husband settled in Virginia in 1639; Nancy Nance arrived in Philadelphia in 1820.
Related Stories +
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print