The surname of LINDSEY was territorial 'of Lindsay' in County Northumberland, and the name appears on the Scottish borders during the 12th century. It was of Norman origin, from De Limesay, Pays de Caux, near Pavilly, north of Rouen. It is also said to be from Lindsay, a division of Lincolnshire. Referring to the origin of the family expresses a prudent uncertainty
'Off Inglande coyme he Lyndissay
Mare of haim I can noucht say'.
The first of the name in Scotland appears to be Sir Walter de Lindeseya, who was one of the witnesses concerning the possessions and rights of Glasgow in 1124. His great grandson Sir William de Lindeseia was one of the hostages for King William the Lion in 1124. Also mentioned is Willelmus de Lyndesay listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 1379. There have been 200 variant spellings of the name over the years. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. A locational name usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The original bearer would take his name from the village, town or the area where he dwelt. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage that it would add to their status.
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Last Updated: January 15th, 2021
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