This is a locational surname which derives from the village of Kersey in Suffolk. Kersey was recorded in Domesday Book in 1086 as "Caresia" and this spelling may well be the root for later surname forms which include Kersy, Cersey, Curzey and Cursey. The village name means "Cress Island" from the Olde English pre 10th century "Caerse ey." The surname is a much later development and probably came about through agricultural changes in the 15th century, when as a result of the Enclosure Acts, common land was lost to the inhabitants, who were then forced to look elsewhere for their living. These unfortunate people then took (or were given) as their surname, the name of their former village, but as few could spell, recordings often took on a "sounds like" appearance. In this case the name travelled as Kers(e)y but then (in some instances) changed and we can trace the development. On January 18th 1624 in the reign of James 1 of England, Nicholas Curzie was christened at the famous church of St Mary Somerset, London. He was the son of John and Jone Curzie. This couple married at the same church on August 18th 1618 in the surname of Kersey. However in between on May 7th 1620 their first son John was christened at the church of St Martin Pomeroy as John Kercy, a spelling which was also applied to them! On July 13th 1673 Edmund and Mary Curzey were recorded at St Dunstans Church, Stepney, completing the change of spelling. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Kersy, which was dated April 29 1550, married Elizabeth Brady at St Peters Church, Cornhill, London, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King," 1547 - 1554. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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