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The Keyse Family Tree

The Keyse family can trace its origins back to the 1500s and a few villages in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The Keyse surname can be found in early parish records of the villages of Newent, Oxenhall, Aston Ingham, Linton, Hope Mansell, Upton Bishop and several other villages no more than five or six miles apart between Newent and Ross on Wye.

Map from www.multimap.com

The surname may be a variant of Keys, thought to come from the Roman “Keyus” meaning warden or keeper.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries the family spread out further:

  • Thomas Keyse, born in 1722, moved to London where he founded the Bermondsey Spa, a tourist attraction of its day.
  • Around 1811 James Keyse crossed the border into Monmouthshire, now part of Wales.
  • James and Henry Keyse, brothers from Oxenhall, moved to Ohio in the 1850s and founded the American branch of the family
  • Around 1900 John Leonard Keyse have also emigrated to Australia

In the 1901 census of England and Wales 204 people with the surname Keyse were recorded:





Monmouthshire/Glamorgan 34
London/Middlesex 45
Warwickshire 7
Worcestershire 15
Other counties 18

Full details of all of these families can be found in the downloads section.

Aim of this website

Since I started tracing my family tree, and in particular that of the Keyse family (my wife's surname and the one we have given our daughters) I have relied on the work of many people who have researched the Keyse family (genealogy seems to be a genetic trait in the family!). This site aims to bring all of this research together for the benefit of anyone else who wants to find their Keyse ancestors.

I also hope to grow the tree - if you are a KEYSE or have found some in your family tree please send me details and I will add them to the ever expanding trees.

I must add a health warning! Tracing family trees is not a precise science, particularly before the 19th Century. Some of the links are the most likely based on parish records and locations of births and marriages. If you find errors in the information please let me know.


This site takes the form of family group sheets with husband, wife and children and their details. Clicking on a family member will take you to their parents or children as appropriate. Start by searching for an ancestor in the surname list or name index.

If you prefer traditional family tree views (ancestor or descendant charts) please see my other site at Tribal Pages.

Interesting Keyse family members

Thomas Keyse (1722-1800) was a painter and the founder of Bermondsey Spa, a visitor attraction of its day in South London. The area still has streets called "Keyse Road" and "Spa Road".

Emma Keyse (c1816-1884) was the victim of the infamous Babbacombe murder and the convicted killer, John Lee, became known as the "man they couldn't hang".

The Rev HH Keyse (Harold Hubert Keyse), born 1887 in Bermondsey, was a Baptist Minister and for 30 years was the Headmaster of Sutton Coldfield Central Highschool. From 1937 he was a local councillor and in 1950 was elected Mayor of Sutton Coldfield. The town named "Keyse Road" in his memory.

John Keyse Sherwin (1751-1790) was a successful engraver and history painter, winning both silver and gold medals at the Royal Academy before eventually becoming engraver to the king. His grandmother was a Keyse but no link has been found to the Gloucestershire Keyse families.

The name St John Keyse appears several times over the last 200 years, spanning England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Gilbert Islands and the USA.

In 1932 Maurice Keyse (1896-1964), the son of St John Norman MacQueen Keyse, was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife's new husband in Las Vegas.


Table of Contents


Contact Information

Stuart Cane, Pentyrch, Cardiff, Wales

e-mail stuart.maria@btopenworld.com

Keyse family message board at Ancestory.co.uk

Last updated on 12 June 2010 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software
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