Recorded in several spellings including Kincey, Kinsey, Kynsey, and the dialectal Kimsey, this ancient and uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin. In its diffferent forms it represents a rare survival of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cynesige", composed of the elements "cyne", meaning royal, and "sige", victory. A great many native Anglo-Saxon given names disappeared after 1066, when the continental personal names introduced by the Norman invaders were adopted for preference or expediency. Early examples of the surname include: William Kynnesay, the 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 early surviving church registers include: the christening of Catherine, daughter of John Kinsey, at Goostrey in Cheshire, on March 1st 1590, the marriage of Roger Kinsey and Bridgett Todd, on May 26th 1645, at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, and that of Richard Kimsey, who was a christening witness at the church of St. Leonards, Shoreditch, on March 27th 1796. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Kynsei. This was dated 1306, in the "Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem", of Gloucestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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