Kelsey Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Kelsey Family Coat of Arms

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Kelsey. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Kelsey Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Kelsey blazon are the cross moline, escutcheon, palet and bend. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and sable .

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 11Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross moline is typical of these whereby each arm of the cross expands and curves outwards, reminscent of the fer-de-moline from which it gets its name. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

The escutcheon simply represents smaller shield shapes included within the shield, and its close relative, the inescutcheon is just a larger version occupying most of the field. 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escutcheon There is no particular significance that can accorded to the escutcheon itself, but attention should be paid to the colour and devices that are borne upon it. The escutcheon may also be added to an existing coat of arms either as recognition of some additional honour (an escutcheon of augmentation”) or in the case where arms that are already quartered are to be combined an escutcheon with the new arms may be placed overall (an ”escutcheon of pretence”). 14Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 126 & 141

The palet is a smaller version of the pale, being and narrow vertical stripe extending the full height of the shield. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale There can be several of these side-by-side, that they would show their significance with their larger relative sign of “ military strength and fortitude”. 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Kelsey Name

KELSEY

The English surname Kelsey is topographical having originated from the bronze age Celtic “Ceol’s Island” an area which in ancient times was located in Lincolnshire. The name translates to mean “island of the ships”. Vast stretches of Lincolnshire would flood in springtime, leaving a massive expanse of open water dotted with hills which in the time of flood would become isolated islands. This uncontrolled flooding existed from before the bronze age up to the latter half of the 19th century.

The use of surnames did not come into vogue in England until after the Norman invasion. Most residents in the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier eras across most of the British Isles, found little need for surnames as everyone within these communities knew each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people’s names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. The introduction of surnames by the Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.

There often exists variations in spelling of many surnames, as with many given names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname Kelsey include but not limited to; Kelsy; Kellsy; Kelsall; Kilshall; Kelsell; Kelsow; and Kellsey.

The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Brice de Keleseye which appears in the Lincolnshire tax rolls from 1272. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward I, with the oldest dating back 700 years to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom.

Some of the first recorded immigrants to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was William Kelsey who arrived in 1632 and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Francis Kelsey landed and settled in Maryland in 1663.

There were also many immigrants to the British Commonwealth countries of Canada and Australia bearing the surname Kelsey. James Kelsey landed in 1785 and settled in Ontario, Canada. Thomas Kelsey landed in 1840 and settled in Adelaide, Australia and William Kelsey arrived and settled in Wellington, New Zealand in 1857.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Kelsey are found in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Jack live in Utah, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Michigan.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Kelsey are found in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. State by state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Kelsey live in Utah, Connecticutt, New York, Vermont, and South Dakota.

Benjamin Scovill Kelsey was born in America and was a test pilot and aeronautical engineer. His innovating and pioneering work in fighter aircraft design helped bring success to the United States Air Force during World War II. Kelsey had a hand I aiding with the development of the Allison V-1710, the P-39 Airacobra, the P-38 Lightning, and the P-51 Mustang.

During his career, Kelsey received the following awards for his service; Distinguished Service

Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, French Croix de Guerre, Belgian Croix de Guerre, and Octave Chanute Award.

Henry Kelsey was a British explorer who was one of the primary people responsible for the Hudson Bay Company. As an explorer, he was the first European to visit what is know now as the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Hudson Bay Company founded in 1670 recently celebrated its 346th anniversary.

Kelsey Family Gift Ideas

Browse Kelsey family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Ripley, co. Surrey; William Kelsey, of Ripley, m. temp. Edward III. Maud, dau. and heir of Sir Richard Willoughby. His grandson, Thomas Ripley, of Ripley, left an only dau. and heiress, Lucia who m. cir. 1390, Sir Nicholas Carew, of Beddington, Keeper of the Privy Seal). Gu. a cross moline ar. surmounted of a bend az. charged with three plain crosses couped of the second.
2) (Chelmsford and Thorp, co. Essex; granted 24 June, 1634). Sa. on a pale betw. two palets or, three escutcheons gu. Crest—Two cubit arms erect, vested sa. cuffed or, holding in the hands ppr. an escutcheon gold.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
11. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escutcheon
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 126 & 141
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale
16. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47