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Dorsey Coat of Arms / Dorsey Family Crest

Dorsey Coat of Arms / Dorsey Family Crest

The surname of DORSEY was derived from the Middle English word DORSEY, and was an English habitation name for someone who came from de Orsay in Seine-et-Orne, in northern France. The name was rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form ORCEIACUM, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The earliest of the name on record appears to be William DORSY, who was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1200, and Roger de DORSEY was documented in 1279 in Yorkshire. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. This name is also spelt DORSAY. A notable member of the name was Alfred Guillaume Gabriel, COUNT D'ORSAY (1801-52). He was a French socialite, the 'last of the dandies', born in Paris. In 1822 he attached himself to Lady Blessington. In 1827 he married Lady Harriet Gardiner, Lord Blessington's fifteen year old daughter by a former wife. In 1829, Lord Blessington died, and D'ORSAY, separated from his wife, took up residence next door to Lady Blessington in London, where for 20 years they defied the conventions in society of authors, artists and men of fashion. An intimate friend and supporter of Louis Napoleon, he naturally looked for a position when the exile became prince-president and D'ORSAY a bankrupt; but the directorship of Fine Arts in Paris was conferred upon him only a few days before his death. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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