Recorded in several spellings including Tracey, Tracy and Treacy, this is an English and sometimes Irish, surname. Introduced into England by the followers of William, The Conqueror, in 1066, it was locational, from the villages of Tracy-Bocage or Tracy-sur-Mer, in the departement of Calavados in the former dukedom of Normandy. Both places are so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name Thraci, plus various suffix to generally give the meaning of Thraci's settlement. In England the surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 12th Century, (see below), and other early recordings include those of Henry de Traci in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Hampshire, in the year 1148, whilst Henry de Tracy appears in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Devon in 1272.Several parishes in Devon including Bovey Tracy and Bradford Tracy were named after these Norman settlers. However in Ireland whilst the surname may have the same English origin, and be an introduction after 1170, it is just as likely that it is a developed form of the pre 10th century Gaelic surname O' Treasaigh. This translates as "The descendant of the war-like one". The name is recorded as O' Tressy in records of County Kildare dated 1304, whilst Tracytown in County Wexford received its name from the clan. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere is shown to be that of Henry de Traci. This was dated 1139 in the register of the Knights Templar for Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Stephen 1130 - 1153. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to asonishing variants of the original spelling.
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