Show ContentsTracye History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Tracye surname was originally a habitational name, taken on from a place name in Normandy, possibly from Tracy-Bocage or Tracy-sur-Mer in Calvados. These place names are said to derived from the Gallo-Roman personal name Thracius. More specifically, "the Norman thus designated on the Roll [of Battle Abbey], derived his name from the town of Traci, in his native Duchy. His descendants became Lords of Barnstaple in Devon, and enjoyed a high repute in that country." 1

Early Origins of the Tracye family

The surname Tracye was first found in Devon, where they were Lords of Barnstaple. This line was descended from a Norman family from Tracy near Vire in Carne in Normandy. William de Tracy is said to have come to England in 1066, and is mentioned by the poet Wace, in his verse history of Britain, as being at Hastings. Henry de Tracy received a charter for Barnstaple Priory in 1146.

"Henry de Traci is said to have been the only man in Devonshire who stood firm to Stephen against the Empress Maud. He was succeeded in his barony by his son, his grandson, and his great-grandson, but the latter, who died in 1273, left only a daughter. Eve, married to Guy de Brienne." 2

We found this other entry for the same person: "Nymet Tracy, commonly called Bow, which once had a market, granted to Henry Tracy in 1258, and which was the scene of a skirmish between Sir Hardress Waller and some Royalist troops, wherein the former was successful." 3

Other early mentions of the surname include Henry Traci, who was listed as a Knight Templar in Oxfordshire in 1139; Henry de Traci listed in 1148 in Winton, Hampshire; and Oliver de Trazi listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1166. 4

William de Tracy (d. circa 1189), Lord of the Manor of Toddington, Gloucestershire, was one of the knights who murdered Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, in 1170. 1

He "belonged to a family which in the twelfth century held considerable property in Devonshire and Gloucestershire; but his place in the pedigree has never been ascertained. " 5

However another source disagrees with his heritage: "he was the second son of John de Sudeley and Grace de Traci, heiress of another William, believed to be a natural son of Henry I. He probably succeeded to his mother's inheritance, as he took her name, and is described by the monkish chroniclers as a brave soldier, but of parricidal wickedness. After the bloody tragedy at Canterbury, he and his three accomplices sought refuge at Knaresborough Castle, from whence they went to throw themselves at the feet of Pope Alexander III. at Rome. He sentenced them to expiate their sin in the Holy Land, and they accordingly set out together on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem." 2

Early History of the Tracye family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tracye research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1569, 1593, 1620, 1640, 1643, 1648, 1655, 1662, 1735, 1939 and 1969 are included under the topic Early Tracye History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tracye Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Tracey, Tracy, Trassey, Trasey, Tracye, de Traci and others.

Early Notables of the Tracye family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Robert Tracy, 2nd Viscount Tracy (c. 1593-1662), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1620 and 1640, he fought for the Royalists in the English Civil War. His son was Robert Tracy, 2nd Viscount Tracy of Rathcoole; and his son, Robert Tracy (1655-1735), an English judge from Toddington, Gloucestershire. Richard Tracy (d. 1569), was...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tracye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tracye family to Ireland

Some of the Tracye family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tracye migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tracye Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Tracye, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 6

  1. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. 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
  3. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. 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) on Facebook