Dear Sean,

Good to hear from you.

I am copying this note to other KISBY contacts so that you can have a get together and to Rootsweb in case the content may be of wider interest, for I know that KISBY's are spread far and wide and that most have trouble with their sorting out or finding their ancestors in England. You are probably all part of the very ancient Fenland tribe of KISI, the fierce Fensmen fighters who resisted the Romans, Vikings and the Danes when they invaded and ravaged the countryside - and much else!

You are of course correct that the link between CASEBY and KISBY and KESBY has not yet been established. What has been established is that KISBY and CISBY and CASBY and COSEBY was used for CASEBY and CASBEY in Ireland. You mentioned Dominus de Kisby in 1205 (but not his father Dominus de Kisby in the same Pipe Rolls), head of a family that was in England before the Norman Conquest. A recorded variant of that ancient name was KEASBY. Just one year ago I was able to prove that KEASBY was actually CASEBY from the pre 1700 Quaker Records of Major John Fenwick's Colony (now Salem, New Jersey, USA) Wills and other USA family sources. (I wonder if New Jersey will now change its Main Road's name from KEASBY to CASEBY, or likewise the name of the township nearby; and will the international University KEASBY Memorial Bursary Funds become the CASEBY ones?)

Neither have I managed to link the KISBY folks in Canada with my line of research for lack of time. If you do not know this fact then wait to be amazed for there is a Museum of all that is KISBY in the town of KISBY in Canada. They seem proud of their ancestry - at least up until their facts run out in the early-1700's. Your family tree may help some of their problems.

Keisby is a village beside Lenton, near to Grimethorp, which I visited and photographed in 1993. In all of my searching of records I have never found the spelling KEISBY used as a surname. (Now go on and prove me wrong!) The actual Village was always known to the locals and pronounced as CASEBY. Keisby was the name given to the few houses remaining by the Irish Ordinance crew that made the map of the area about 1840. (Confusion over many place names was introduced by the Irish soldiers not understanding what the locals were saying - and the local no doubt had a similar problem!). The church at Lenton, about one mile north of Keisby is in part of the Parish ministered to by the Vicar of Ingoldsby. He was unable to give me any data whatsoever about the artefacts from Keisby in Lenton Church, or about the Roman Temple and Shrine on the derelict, flattened and hidden site of Keisby.

The original Village is a hard to find without expert help for it is a overgrown and useless for farming land (probably destroyed as a punishment before 1300 when the locals objected to new taxes being imposed) which has never been excavated and which included a Roman Temple. For this reason alone I would have thought it would have been an attractive site for archeologists. Part of the bust of a Roman Centurion found on the site is in Lenton Parish Church about a mile away. I have approached the local University and a TV Programme (Channel 4's "Time Team") which specialises in investigating such sites but none have been interested in exploring the secrets just waiting to be found.

The following is just a tiny part of the research I have done to determine more about Keisby and the people who lived there.

My modern sources which you can borrow from your local Library are Morris J. (1986), (General Editor), "The Domesday Book," Phillimore, Chichester, Volume No. 31, covering Lincolnshire, Claims Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and summary Yorkshire, in 1066 AD, (Parts 1 & 2, Lincolnshire, edited by Philip Morgan and Caroline Thorne from a draft translation by Sarah Wood).

In Part 2, of the above book, under Lands of Guy of Craon are three mentions of what is now called the village of KEISBY (or as it was called in the Doomsday Book by its Latin nane: CHISEBI = possibly, "where cheese was made") as follows. Some of the people mentioned by name as owning land in the area and who could be checked out in a Gazeteer of Domesday characters are; GUY OF CRAON, OSFRAM, ARCHBISHOP ALDRED (of York), RANULF of St. Valery (a clerk of the Archbishop).(These first three being Normans given high office by William the Conqueror for their services.) Then there are the ones which interest us; ULFR (possibly also known as FENMAN, but this latter could be a different person) KNOWN AS SON OF TOPI, ILBOLD, ASKETIL(L) (described as the Abbot of Peterboroughs man), SVARTBRANDR (and other thanes) who is the brother of ASKETIL(L) and also of ALNOTH and FENKELL. This latter statement seems to be contradicted at the end of Vol. 2, notes, 67,68,cs, at 68 where it is suggested that SVARTBRANBR is the son of ULFR, that is the Lincoln Lawman of that name. (Lindsay Survey, 3.20 and DB notes C" and CK 18.)

This suggests that the first people noted in the Doomsday Book as having the surname KISI (BY being an Old English ending for living beside or near to a village, hence KISIBY) had the surnames; ULFR (sonof TOPI and also referred to as the Lincoln Lawman - perhaps the original Robin Hood!)), ILBOLD, ASKETIL(L), SVARTBRANDR (brother of ASKETIL and also of) ALNOTH and FENKELL. So you are maybe wrong to assume that your ancestors left little trace, but correct in saying that at least some were (farm) labourers (thanes). Note that ASKETIL(L) seems to have risen in the world by working for the Archbishop of York, York City then being the Capital of England. Being "the Archbishop's man" meant that he would be educated and enjoy all sorts of fringe benefits (such as a company ox cart?) unknown to the rest of his family. Perhaps he would have then become unwelcomed by his parents and brothers after changinging his allegiance to work for the French invaders. I doubt if ASKETIL(L)'s descendants were consigned to become labourers, or ever had to soil their hands again to earn a "crust".

There may be a hint in the Doomsday text that the Village of KEISBY was still operating in 1066 for you can read on page 57, or DB 367 d, 368 a, at 42 B. "In 'AVETHORPE' (which was a part of KEISBY confused with parts of the villages of of AVETHORPE and LAVINGTON); 4 bovates of land taxable. Land for 6 oxen. An outlier also of this manor. 2 villagers have 1 plough an meadow, 8 acres. Value 10s."(Also, to add more confusion, on notes pages 16 to 21, under 18,20 it records 'AVETHORPE', lost in ASLACKBY (Foster xlviii). The site is possibly commerated by the moated site 'The Aveland' at TF068296. (The book is Foster and Longley (1924), 'Extinct villages and other forgotten places.') My wife amnd I motored through this are in 1992 at the early summer (and on the hottest day for many a year) and the grain was green, full and health all around us. We could have been back in the 1100's with the Doomsday record workmen, apart from the tarmac, the car and the telephone poles!

I spoke with the farmer who owns the field containing what he believe to be the ruins of the ancient village we call KEISBY. He still lives in what was once the ancient Manor House of Keisby,quoted mentioned in the above text. The lands were previously owned until 1918 by the Weymss family from Fife, Scotland, the home of my late father's mother and her ancestors - and of the much collected Weymss antique pottery. The farmer said his father had bought the farm but his ancestors had worked on the same land for at least 400 years previous to that event.

Lastly, Sean, in 1993, just outside Lenton village I spotted a brightly painted "Jock's Box" Caravan by the main road sporting the sign "Kisby's Kafe" which might be one of your enterprising relations still hard at work waiting for good times to return to that old spot!

Ron CASEBY. Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 4DN KFHS No. 6796 Researching CASEBY/CAISBY/KASEBY/KISBY/KEASB(E)Y

----- Original Message -----
From: Sean Kisby
Sent: 15 December 1999 00:02
Subject: Hello from a Kisby

Much to my surprise you list my Great great grandfather, Levi Kisby (b.1844 near Whittlesey) on your vast homepage! To my knowledge, KISBY has one of its origins in the village of Keisby, near Bourne in Lincolnshire, England, which is not a great distance from Whittlesey area. Apparently a bloke called Ralph de Kisebi was recorded in 1205 from the area. Have managed to trace my Kisby tree back to Levi's grandfather Charles (born about 1773), but the Cambridgeshire Kisby's were mainly labourers and haven't left much trace.... Hope this has been of interest.

.....SEAN KISBY, Cardiff, UK