- This uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible interpretations. Firstly it may be a locational surname deriving from the place called Livesey in Lancashire, which is recorded as "Liveseye" in the 1227 Feet of Fines of the county. The placename means "island with a shelter", derived from the Old Norse term "hlif", protection, shelter, with the Old English pre 7th Century "eg", island. The second possible source of the modern surname, found as Livesey, Livesay, Livsey, Lifsey and Lifsay, is from an Old English personal name composed of the elements "leof", dear, beloved, with "siege", victory. The christening of James Lyfsaye was recorded at St. Mary's, Bury, in Lancashire, on May 19th 1594, and one Robert Lifsey was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on February 26th 1637. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Liuesay, which was dated circa 1250, The Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.