Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,744 members have registered
2,396 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

3,073 total views, 1 views today




About the study

Welcome to the KISBY One-name Study page! Fortunately for us KISBY's (and KISBEE's) we have a less common surname (and needless to say we are also incredibly good-looking and intelligent). In the process of building my own family tree over a period of decades, pre internet, I managed to build up a fair amount of information about the Kisby's of the Fenland area of England. With the increased availability of genealogical resources online I have widened my study to include all instances of the surname KISBY. I also have an interest in the Irish surname Kisbey, though this may be a variant of a different surname.
Sean Kisby

Variant names

For the purpose of a One-name Study a variant is defined as an alternative spelling of the original surname that has now become commonly used and passed down through the generations. KISBY has occasionally appeared as KISBIE, KESBY, KISSBY, KYSBIE, KEISBYE, KIZBY etc., but these spellings do not appear to have 'stuck' in their locality.

However, the surname *KISBEE* is without doubt a variant of the English surname KISBY. KISBEE originated as a distinct variant around the village of Barnwell in Northamptonshire. There are two dedicated KISBEE genealogists in particular, Judith and Penny, who have been a great help to me and I don't want to take anything away from their enthusiam and hard work by registering the variant KISBEE in my One-name Study. The more the merrier, let's hope!

One family of KISBEE's reverted to using KISBY. Another family chose to become KISBIE's, but this variant died out after only 2 generations.

KISBEY existed as a surname in Ireland and may, or may not, be linked to the English KISBY's.

The KESBY's of the county of Kent sometimes became KISBY's in the north of the county. Often the spellings were interchangeable. I'd love to know the origin of the Kent surname KESBY, I suspect it is different from the Fenland KISBY's.

Name origin

KISBY (English version) is believed to originate from the Lincolnshire village of Keisby which (though nowadays is pronounced 'Case-by') was originally known as Chisebi, or Kisebi. See site/kisby-surname-origins.htm

Historical occurrences of the name

A list of notable KISBY's, KISBEE's (and KISBEY's) can be found at

If you would like to nominate any other famous, successful or notorious KISBY's or KISBEE's I would be eager to hear from you.

Name frequency

It is not simple task to measure the frequency of a surname when it is uncommon and often misspelt in official records and transcriptions! However, in the 1881 England & Wales Census I have been able to identify 246 KISBY's and 107 KISBEE's. There were also at least 11 KISBEY's and 6 KISBIE's.

In 2002 it was estimated there were 544 KISBY's extant in Britain, plus 78 KISBEE's (and 16 KISBEY's).

Distribution of the name

Kisby 1841The English surname KISBY was predominantly found (before the arrival of the railways and long-distance travel) in the English counties of Northamptonshire (north part), Cambridgeshire (north part), Lincolnshire (south part) and Huntingdonshire, particularly around the English Fens. During the nineteenth century KISBY's began to lose their webbed feet and spread across England. They also emigrated in small numbers overseas, primarily to the USA, but also Australia and New Zealand. During the 1900's they arrived in Canada in larger numbers.


* England and Wales Censuses 1851, 1881 and 1911 ~ All KISBY's, KISBEE's, KISBIE's and KISBEY's identified and extracted
* England and Wales Civil Registration - Births 1837-c1905, Marriages (and spouses) 1837-c1935, Deaths 1837-c1885
* England and Wales Probate Calendar - All entries 1861-1941
* (England) Parish Registers - substantial body of data from church records of the Kisby heartlands of Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire (particularly marriages) 1600-1837