Show ContentsSouthey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Southey is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Southey family lived in Lincolnshire, in the parish of Sotebi, (Sotby) in the union of Horncastle, E. division of the wapentake of Wraggoe, parts of Lindsey. [1] Traditionally a very small parish, in the late 1800's the population was 156 but today about 100 people live there.

Interestingly, the parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed as Sotebi at that time. Literally, the place name means "farmstead or village of a man called Soti," from the Viking personal name + "by." [2]

Early Origins of the Southey family

The surname Southey was first found in Lincolnshire where shortly after the Conquest, Ralph of Sotby held the village and church of Sotebi from the Bishop of Bayeux. [3]

This village church is still famous for its Norman chancel arch. Dedicated to Saint Peter, the church dates from the 12th century, and was restored in 1857 by Michael Drury, an English architect.

While this origin is the preferred, we would be remiss if we did not include another possible origin, at Southrey, another village in the civil parish of Bardney in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire. This village dates back to the Domesday Book as well. In this case, the village was known as Sutreie at that time. And in this case, the village literally meant "southerly island. " [2]

Simon Southrey or Sotherey (fl. 1396), a Benedictine monk, may have taken his name from Southrey. "A monk of St. Albans and a doctor of divinity of Oxford, he had become by 1389 prior of the Benedictine hostelry in that university. In 1389 Southrey successfully resisted Archbishop Courtenay's proposed visitation of the Oxford house. " [4]

Early History of the Southey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Southey research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1500, 1594, 1623, 1654, 1656, 1659, 1683 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Southey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Southey Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Southey include Sotheby, Sothaby, Sotherby, Southerby, Southby, Southey and many more.

Early Notables of the Southey family

Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Southey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Southey migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Southeys to arrive on North American shores:

Southey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Southey, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [5]
  • Henry and Elizabeth Southey who settled in Virginia with their children Mary and Thomas in 1623
  • Mrs. Southey, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [5]
  • Ann Southey, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [5]

Australia Southey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Southey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Southey, Welsh convict who was convicted in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Southey (post 1700) +

  • Robert Southey (1774-1843), English Romantic poet, historian, and miscellaneous author, born at Bristol
  • Reginald Southey (1835-1899), English physician born at Bristol, son of Robert Southey by his wife, Margaret Hill, and younger brother of Robert Southey, the poet
  • Caroline Anne Southey (1786-1854), English poet, second wife of Robert Southey, born at Lymington, Hampshire
  • Colonel Richard George Southey CB CMG (1844-1909), South African colonial military commander
  • Sir Richard Southey KCMG (1808-1901), South African colonial administrator and cabinet minister
  • John Southey Somerville (1765-1819), fifteenth Lord Somerville, English agriculturist, born at Fitzhead Court, near Taunton, Somerset
  • Bertha Southey Brammall (1878-1957), Australian writer and direct descendant of English Poet Laureate Robert Southey
  • Samuel Southey Hinds (1875-1948), American actor perhaps best remembered for playing Peter Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life
  • Southey Rew, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Hyde County, 1786-87 [7]

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. 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)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook