Seay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Seay is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Seay family lived in Shropshire. "Cil de Saie," mentioned by Wace in his account of the Battle of Hastings, took his name from the vill of Saium or Say, about nine miles to the west of Exmes, the caput of Roger de Montgomeri's Norman Viscountcy, and held under Roger in Normandy, as he afterwards did in England. He is known as Picot de Say.

Within thirty years of Domesday, Theodoric de Say, a cadet of the Barons of Clun, was enfeoffed by Roger de Lacy of Stoke, afterwards called Stokesay. One of his descendants, Hugh II., was possessed of Moreton Say as early as 1243, and about 1250 exchanged Stokesay with his suzerain, John de Verdon, for some property in Ireland, where he took up his abode. Robert de Say held Moreton Say in 1255, and, with William de Say, had summons to attend a great Council at Westminster. Roger de Say, in 1203, was a tenant of Robert de Buller's at Hope Bowdler and Amaston and left Lucia and Amice his co-heirs. Then we have Eustachia de Say, co-foundress of Westwood in Worcestershire, who, in the time of Henry I., married Hugh Fitz Osborn, Baron of Burford and Richard's Castle, "Most accounts," says Eyton, "would induce us to associate her with the Barons of Clun or the Lords of Stokesay. [1]

Early Origins of the Seay family

The surname Seay was first found in Shropshire but the first record of the name was Geoffrey de Saye, Lord of West Greenwich (1135-1214.) His son, Geoffrey de Saye, II (died 1230), Lord of West Greenwich was born in 1155 in West Greenwich, Kent and died in Gascoigne, Poitou, France. His son was Geoffrey de Saye (1155-1230), was an English nobleman, and Magna Carta surety who held lands at Edmonton (now part of London) and Sawbridgeworth (a small town and civil parish in Hertfordshire.) [2]

"Picot de Say was, in the time of the Conqueror, one of the principal persons in the county of Salop, under Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, and founded the distinguished Baronial House of Say, from which derives, through female descent, the Lord Saye and Sele." [3]

Geoffrey de Say, Baron de Say (ca. 1305-1359), was the second Baron by writ and a descendant of William de Say. [4]

Stratfield Saye is a village and civil parish in Hampshire that includes the hamlets of West End Green, Fair Oak Green and Fair Cross. [5]

Early History of the Seay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Seay research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1478, 1468, 1420, 1404, 1382, 1604, 1685, 1649, 1661, 1681, 1691, 1653, 1691, 1664, 1666, 1676, 1743, 1632, 1692, 1656, 1604 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Seay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Seay Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Seay family name include Say, Saye, Sais and others.

Early Notables of the Seay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Say (d. 1478), Speaker of the House of Commons, is doubtfully said to have been the son of John Heron (d. 1468), son of Sir John Heron (d. 1420), nephew and heir of Sir William Heron (d. 1404). The last-named was styled Lord Say in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister and heir of John de Say, Baron Say (d. 1382.) [4] Evan Seys (1604-1685), was a Welsh lawyer from Swansea, Glamorgan, Attorney General under Oliver Cromwell, Recorder of Gloucester in 1649, Member of Parliament for Gloucester (1661-1681); and Robert Say D.D...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Seay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Seay Ranking

In the United States, the name Seay is the 1,796th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [6]


United States Seay migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Seay family to immigrate North America:

Seay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Seay, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [7]
Seay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Kath Seay, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [7]
Seay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Saml. Seay, aged 10, originally from Aberdeen, arrived in New York in 1906 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Glasgow, Scotland [8]
  • Samuel Seay, aged 33, originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "Campania" from Liverpool, England [9]
  • Frank Seay, aged 33, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Zarembo" from Rio de Janeiro [10]
  • Robert Seay, aged 15, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Zarembo" from Rio de Janeiro [11]
  • Lazarus Seay, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Brookline" from Bizerta [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Seay (post 1700) +

  • Frank Howell Seay (b. 1938), United States federal judge
  • Richard William "Dick" Seay (1904-1981), American Negro league baseball player
  • William Wayne Seay (1948-1968), American Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor
  • Solomon Snowden Seay Sr. (1899-1988), American activist, religious leader, and memoirist
  • Carl D. "Lightning" Lloyd Seay (1919-1941), early American stock car racing driver
  • Clarence Seay (b. 1957), American jazz bassist and composer
  • Abraham Jefferson Seay (1832-1915), American lawyer, soldier, judge, and politician
  • Mark Edward Seay (b. 1967), former professional American football wide receiver
  • Virgil LeVan Seay (b. 1958), former American football wide receiver
  • Thomas Seay (1846-1896), American Democratic politician
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Seay +

  • Descendants of Abraham Seay by Burwell Warren Seay.
  • Seay and Allied Lines of Western Washington County, Arkansas by Billie Allen Jines.

  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. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JF8C-XP5 : 6 December 2014), Saml. Seay, 06 Aug 1906; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Columbia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX1W-B3N : 6 December 2014), Samuel Seay, 07 Aug 1909; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Campania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J666-76F : 6 December 2014), Frank Seay, 06 Nov 1920; citing departure port Rio de Janeiro, arrival port New York, ship name Zarembo, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J666-76B : 6 December 2014), Robert Seay, 06 Nov 1920; citing departure port Rio de Janeiro, arrival port New York, ship name Zarembo, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  12. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6L4-Z2K : 6 December 2014), Lazarus Seay, 07 Sep 1921; citing departure port Bizerta, arrival port New York, ship name Brookline, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


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