The surname of QUINSEY was a locational name from Cuinchy (pas de Calais) from where came Saer de Quincey, ancestor of the Earls of Winchester. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday book. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Saer de Quincey, 1152, County Oxford. Henry Quenci, 1300, County Lancashire. Robert de Quency was documented in County Essex in the year 1273. The English writer Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) was born in Manchester, the son of a businessman, into a family of Norman origin. In the 13th century his ancestors had held the earldom of Winchester, but they later sank into obscurity. The prefix De was adopted by the author. The American Quincy family were established in Massachusetts by Edmund Quincy in 1633. Fifth in descent was Josiah Quincy (1744-75) a leading patriot who was sent to England to argue the colonists' case in 1774. His son Josiah (1772-1864) was a powerful opponent of slavery, president of Harvard, and mayor of Boston, a post also held by several of his descendants. The family traditionally pronounces the name KWINZI. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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