Sassay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sassay is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Sassay family lived in Sassy, "in the arrondissement of Avranches, near Pontorsin; sometimes spelt Sacie, and given as Saussai on the Dives Roll. The 'sire de Sassy' figures among the combatants at Hastings in Wace's Roman de Ron.' [1]

Early Origins of the Sassay family

The surname Sassay was first found in Devon and Hereford where "Osbernus de Salceid" and "Radulphus de Salceit," were barons as listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2] The latter's descendants quickly spread to many parts of the country.

The Pipe Rolls include a listing for Ralph de Saci in Gloucestershire (1155-1158) and Rogo de Saci held the Bishop of Winchester 1189-1190. At about the same time, Robert de Salceio was listed in Buckinghamshire as was William de Salceio in Oxfordshire. Kiddington in Oxfordshire came into their possession soon after the Conquest.

It is supposed that the old church of Kiddington (of which the chancel only is now left) was built by one of them in the reign of Stephen; and they presented to this church, as well as to that of Asterley, in 1221 and 1232. About the year 1200, Sibill de Saucey married Richard de Willescote, or Williamscote, who, dying before or during 1232, left his son Thomas heir.

"They were a family of high rank and distinction, though unnoticed in history, and were seized of very considerable lands and jurisdictions, not only in Oxfordshire, but in Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire, where I am of opinion that Salcey Forest took its name from them." [1]

"In Leicestershire Anketin de Saucey gave his name to Newbold-Saucey, a parcel of the fee of Harcourt ; and Overton-Saucey passed to Simon de Saucey from the Bernevilles. The heir of Robert de Saucey held, in 1240, of the Honour de Ferrers; and Simon, in 1287, was a benefactor of Ouston Abbey ; his son Robert and his grandson Robert confirmed the grant. Their residence was in the neighbourhood of Newbold, at Saucey, or Sauvay Castle, between Laund and Withcote; afterwards the seat of Lord Basset of Weldon. In old deeds the name is sometimes written Salcey." [1]

Newbold-Saucy is now a lost village in Leicestershire. We do known that a chapel was built there in the 12th century but the chapel was active in 1361 when it was noted that mass was to be celebrated there four times a week.

Early History of the Sassay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sassay research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1224, 1221, 1324, 1296, 1214 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Sassay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sassay Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Saucy, Sauser, Saucer, Sassy, Saussaye, Sausse, Sassy, Sassie, de la Sausseys, Saucer, Sauser, Sasser, Saussays, Sauchy, Caucer and many more.

Early Notables of the Sassay family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Sassay family to Ireland

Some of the Sassay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 65 words (5 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 Sassay family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sassay or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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