Recorded as Horsey, Hersey, Heresey, and Hursey, this is an English surname. It is locational either from the village of Horsey in the county of Norfolk, or from Horsey Pignes, near the town of Bridgewater, in the county of Somerset. In both cases the meaning is the same of "Horse Island" from the pre 7th century Olde English "horrs-eg". The Norfolk village is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Horseia, whilst the Somerset village appears in the same register, but as Hursi, an early indication as to how spellings could and to some extent still can, vary through a combination of erratic spelling, and "thick" local accents. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification after a person left his or her original homestead, and moved somewhere else. In this case the first known recording is believed to be that of Thomas de Horseye, the bailliff of Yarmouth, in Norfolk in the year 1269, whilst John de Hursy is recorded in what is known as "Kirby's Quest" for Somerset in 1273. Alice Horsey married Christopher Collyer at St Peters Cornhill, in the city of London, on July 27th 1550. This is probably the first recording of the surname in a surviving church register, as these were only introduced by the infamous King Henry V111, in about 1535.
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