Recorded in several forms including Ramsey, Ramsie, the rare McRamsey, and having no less than ten Coats of Arms, this distinguished surname is considered to of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is locational either from Ramsey, a market-town and parish in Huntingdonshire, or from the parish and village of Ramsey, south west of Harwich in Essex. The former place, recorded as "Hramesege" in the Saxon Chartulary, dated circa 1000, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th century word "hramsa", meaning ramson a form of wild garlic, and "-eg", an island or a piece of firm ground in a marshy area. The Essex village appears as "Rameseia" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Rammesye" in the 1224 tax registers known as the 'Feet of Fines.' The surname has the distinction of being first recorded in the early 11th Century, prior to the Domesday Book, whilst in Scotland Simundus de Ramesie, was a Norman baron from Huntingdonshire, who was granted lands in Midlothian by David, Earl of Huntingdon, and brother of King Alexander 1st of Scotland in the year 1140. Another, Neis de Ramsey, physician to King Alexander 11, was granted lands near Banff in 1232. Other recordings include Anttony Ramsey and Ann Wickes, who were married at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, Richmond, Surrey, on February 20th 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aethelstanus de Rameseia, which was dated circa 1036, in the "Old English Byname Register", Essex, during the reign of King Harold or Harefoot, known as the Dane, 1035 - 1040.
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