This surname was a locational name 'of Pusey' a small spot in Berkshire. The name was originally derived from the Old English word PISU, literally meaning the dweller by the island. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village he came from, or where he owned his land. This name identified his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved to. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. Early records of the name mention PEISE (without surname) who was documented in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name was recorded as PESEI (without surname) in Berkshire in 1199. Adam de Pesy, was recorded in the year 1220 in the County of Berkshire. Joan de Pusye was documented in County Somerset in the year 1277. John de Puseye of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The family of Pusey are traditionally said to have been settled at Pusey in Berkshire, prior to the Norman Conquest, and to have held that estate by service under a grant by Canute. Charles Pusey, the last male heir died in 1710, and bequeathed his manor to John Allen Esq., who thereupon assumed the surname of Pusey.
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