The Searcy Name

Descendants of John Searcy (1694-1786)


From a 1966 letter from Esther SEARCY to Lois JETT:

"The family name, SEARCY, has many spellings, some of which are: SEARCEY, SEARCIE, SEARCE, SCEARCIE, SARCE, AND SCARCE. The most prevalently used form seems to have been and is today, SEARCY. The name originated from a place in France. According to Harper's DICTIONARY OF FAMILY NAMES, the name SEARCY means "one who is from CERCY or CERISY" in France. The Searcy ancestors were Huguenots and the Huguenots were French Protestant people. They were much involved in the Religious Wars of France, Civil Wars, during the last half of the 16th century. The Edict of Nantes was issued in the year 1598 by Henry IV, the king of France. It gave the French Protestants or the Huguenots freedom of religion, granting them liberty of conscience, the right to private worship, and the freedom to public worship wherever it had been previously granted. The Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685, during the reign of Louis XIV. It was the revocation of this document and its ensuing religious persecution which forced the Huguenots to leave France. They fled in large numbers, going to England, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, and America. They were a people who had constituted many of France's most intelligent, skilled and industrious people, also some of her most wealthy people. This fact was well borne out in their newly adopted homes or countries, where they contributed substantially toward and became a benefit to a way of life there. The original United States SEARCYs came over from England. It seems logical to assume that they must have gone from France into England, coming later to America. Evidence of this is in the numbers of old SEARCY tombstones found in England today, especially in Nottingham, with inscriptions dating from 1733 to 1785. The first Searcy to come here along with two or three of his brothers was John Searcy who was born in Nottingham, England in 1694 and died in Granville Co., North Carolina in 1784."