Recorded in England as Teresa, Teresia, Tersay, and Tersey, and in Italy as Teresa, Terese, Teresi, Teressa, and others, this is a surname originally of Ancient Greek origins. It is believed to translate as 'The reaper' presumably a reference to agriculture which is quite common with many Greek names. It was one of the many personal names both male and female, associated with the Crusades of the 12th century and which were brought back to Northern Europe by returning knights and pilgrims. Subsequently the name became much associated with Christian faith through St Teresa of Avila who with St Catherine of Siena was one of the first women to be declared doctors by the Catholic Church.They did not however rush into their decision, as St Teresa died in 1582! The recordings in Italy include Antonio Teresi of Monte Maggiore, Palermo, on August 23rd 1735, Luciano Terese at Valledolmo, Palermo, on February 17th 1878, and Joseph George Teresa at Linguaglossa, Catania, on February 16th 1884. In England and taken from the surviving church registers of the city of London we have the recordings of Joane Tersey who married Thomas Hicks at St Margarets Westminster, on June 13th 1627 and Julietta Maria Teresia, who was christened at Lincolns Inn Chapel, Holborn, on February 18th 1770
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