There were 230 Kisby/ees (including one Dublin Kisbey) recorded in the 1851 GB Census. As can be seen from the distribution map, the English Kisbys and Kisbees came from a very small area centred around the Isle of Ely (N. Cambridgeshire), southern Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire and the northern half of Northamptonshire. They were almost all rural village dwellers (though a family from Huntingdonshire had already settled in Manchester).
The Kent Kisbys are almost entirely Kesbys (mostly around the Isle of Sheppey) who briefly had their surname spelt with an 'i' (and generally reverted to Kesby in later records).
By 1881 there were over 370 Kisby/ee/eys recorded the GB Census. The Kisbys and Kisbees still led a largely rural existence but several families had moved to Lincoln, Leicester, the industrial areas of Lancashire and (in larger numbers) to the growing suburbs of north London. Some were bricklayers, others were cotton workers or railway employees.
Of the more far-flung, James Kisby had taken his family from Cambridgeshire to North Yorkshire, where he worked as an iron miner. James Kisbee (of Barnwell) had moved in the opposite direction, now a Gamekeeper in Dorset. Several Dublin Kisbeys had settled in the London area.
By the early 20th-century and the 1911 GB Census there were over 440 Kisbys and Kisbees listed. The Kisby heartlands of the Isle of Ely and south Lincolnshire remained well represented. There are still plenty of Kisbees in the northern third of Northamptonshire.
Still greater numbers of Kisbys now lived in the Essex and Surrey suburbs of London. Significant numbers were now living in the Yorkshire cities of Leeds and Sheffield, while several mining families were now settled as far north as County Durham. Leicester and Bedford are the homes for several Kisby families.
Intrepid Kisbys had been emigrating to the new world of North America since at least the 1840s. By the latter quarter of the 1800s there were (English) Kisbys settled in several of the middle and eastern states (and appearing on occasions in Canada). For example Henry Kisby of Lincolnshire headed west in 1847, bequeathing a Kisby dynasty in Iowa. Edward Kisby of Wisbeach emigrated in 1853 with his descendants settling in New York. The Kisbys of Downham, Norfolk sailed west in the 1850s spreading north to Michigan and south to Florida.
Richard and William Kisbey of Dublin emigrated in 1881 and later founded the village of Kisbey in Saskatchewan in Canada. William died in California, where his descendants can still be found.
Walter Kisby (1862–1920) of Cambridge, England, emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in the mid 1880s, where he married and brought up a large family. Thereby he bequeathed the North island of New Zealand one of the highest densities of Kisbys on the planet!
Kisby Locations ~ kisby.one-name.net/kisby-locations.htm
last modified 17:30pm GMT 29 August 2015