A name which is locational from the villages of North and South Kelsey in Lincolnshire. The origin is probably a combiniation of Norse - Viking 'Kelda' meaning 'Spring or Well' and Olde English 'Leah' an enclosure or small farm. The period being, pre 10th Century AD. Like most locational name, it would have been given to a former inhabitant who moved to another area as for instance, Elizabeth Kelsaye, who was baptised at St. Michaels, Cornhill, in 1550, in the reign of Edward VI. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Brice de Kelesey. which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Lincoln. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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