This ancient and uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and represents a rare survival of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cynesige", composed of the elements "cyne", royal, with "sige", victory. A great many native Anglo-Saxon given names disappeared after 1066, when the Continental personal names introduced by the Norman Conquerors were adopted for preference or expediency. Early examples of the surname from "Cynesige", now found as Kinsey, Kincey and Kynsey, include: William Kynnesay, vicar of Hitcham in Norfolk in 1471; George Kynsey, listed in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1525; Robert Kensay, in the Patent Rolls of 1558; and William Chinseie or Kinssee, of Cheshire, who appears in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1586. Recordings of the name from Church Registers include: the christening of Catherine, daughter of John Kinsey, at Goostrey in Cheshire, on March 1st 1590, and the marriage of Roger Kinsey and Bridgett Todd, on May 26th 1645, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a red tower on a silver shield; the Crest shows an arm embowed, vested vert (green), out of the top of a tower, the hand holding a spear fessways all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Kynsei, which was dated 1306, in the "Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem", Gloucestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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