This interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname is locational from either Pacy-sur-Eure in Normandy, or from any of numerous places called Passey in France. The placenames derive from the Gallo-Roman personal name "Paccius", and the local suffix "-acum". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Robert de Pacy is listed in the 1214 Curia Regis Rolls of Warwickshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Passey, Passy, Pacy, Pasie, Peasee, Pacey and Peacey. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Jane, daughter of Thomas Pacy on September 22nd 1540, at St. Dionis Backchurch; the christening of Vallantyne, son of Stanading Passey on May 7th 1603, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street; and the christening of Edmund, son of Edmund and Alice Peacey, at St. Luke's, Old Street, Finsbury, on August 19th 1744. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a gold shield with a green cross between four red lions rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Peissi, which was dated 1158, in the "Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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