This ancient and distinguished surname, recorded as D'arcy, Darcy, Dorcey, Dorcy, Dorsey, D'orsay, Orsay, and Orsi, is usually of French locational origins, although Irish names may have a different root. The French forms originate from either the village of Arcy in La Manche, named from the Gallic "ars", meaning the bear, and the suffix "-acum", meaning a settlement, or from Orsai village in Seine et Orne. This is a derivative from the Latin personal name Orcius. The surname was introduced into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, when the Norman de Arecai, was granted over thirty manors in Lincolnshire by William, the Conqueror. Early examples of the surname recordings include William Daresci; Roger Arsi; and Thomas Darcy all of Lincolnshire, in the years 1166, 1173 and 1273, respectively. In Ireland, D'Arcy is of dual derivation, being either Norman as above, and a follower of Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, who invaded Ireland in 1169, or an Anglicized form of the native Old Gaelic "O'Dorchaidhe", meaning a descendant of the dark one. Early examples of the name recordings include Michee Duuercy, a witness at the French Huguenot church, Threadneedle Street, London, in 1635, and Richard Dorsey, a witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on September 27th 1703. Notable name-bearers include Robert D'Arcy (1718 - 1778), the earl of Holderness, Yorkshire, and Patrick, Count D'Arcy (1725 - 1778), Marshal of France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Norman de Areci, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for Lincolnshire, during the reign of King William 1st of England, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066- 1087.
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