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Early Origins of the See family

The surname See was first found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Seal in that shire. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, Seal at the Domesday Book was held by Geoffrey de Rots as an undertenant from the Bishop of Bayeux. The holding was a fishery, consisting mainly of eels. Not surprisingly, the family Coat of Arms shows salmon swimming.

Early History of the See family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our See research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1902 is included under the topic Early See History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

See Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: See, Sea, Seigh and others.

Early Notables of the See family (pre 1700)

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

See Ranking

In the United States, the name See is the 3,554th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [2]

United States See migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

See Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas See, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [3]
See Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Marguerite See, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1700 [3]
  • Johan Bernhard See, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [3]
  • Philip See, aged 27, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [3]
  • Alexander See, who settled in South Carolina with his wife and 10 children in 1755
  • Alexander See, who arrived in South Carolina in 1755 [3]
See Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nevin See, who settled in New York in 1811
  • Nevin See, who arrived in New Jersey in 1811 [3]
  • Joachim See, who landed in Texas in 1852 [3]

Canada See migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

See Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Herman See U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Hermanus See U.E., (Herman, Sea) who settled in Canada c. 1784 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name See (post 1700) +

  • Clyde McNeill See Jr. (1941-2017), American politician and lawyer, Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates (1974–1984)
  • Carolyn See (1934-2016), born Caroline Laws, American professor emerita of English at the University of California
  • Elliot McKay See Jr. (1927-1966), American astronaut, selected in the second group of astronauts [5]
  • Thomas Jefferson Jackson See (1866-1962), American astronomer [6]
  • Robert B. See, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Leon See, French Olympian who two bronze medals for fencing at the 1900 games
  • Sir John See KCMG (1844-1907), Australian member of the New South Wales Legislature from 26 November 1880 to 15 June 1901, and was then Premier of New South Wales from 1901-1904. See was created Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1902 [7]
  • Warren See Lovejoy, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Sierra Leone, 1905 [8]

Suggested Readings for the name See +

  • The History and Genealogy of the See and Related Families by Joseph Benjamin See.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Elliot See. Retrieved from
  6. Thomas See. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Thomas See. Retrieved from
  7. John See. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) John See. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 18) . Retrieved from on Facebook