Recorded as Witsea and Witsey, this is apparently an English locational surname. It appears to originate from a place of a similar spelling, but there is nothing even approaching these except for (possibly) the village of Wibsey, near the city of Bradford, in the county of West Yorkshire. The other alternative is that this surname originates from a now 'lost' medieval village. Some three thousand surnames of the British Isles are known to have originated from 'lost' villages, so whilst unusual, it is not by any means an uncommon occurence. The village of Wibsey, the name means 'Wygbalds island', is first recorded in the year 1295 as Wibetese, so it is quite easy to see how the 'modern' surname spelling may have been transposed over the centuries. Locational surnames are also usually 'from' names. That is to say names of identification given to people who had moved from their original homes, and were best identified by that name. Spelling being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case the surname is quite well recorded in the city of London from at least Stuart times with Benjamin Witsey being a witness at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on November 24th 1670.
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