Eley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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This interesting surname, with the variant spellings Eeley, Eely, Heley and Ely, can be either a patronymic or of locational origin. As a patronymic name, it acquires from the old given name “Elis” or the vernacular form of “Elijah”.  This name was borne by a biblical prophet and was a popular name among Christians in the Middle Ages, being the name of a 7th Century bishop of Syracuse.  The surname from this source first noted as William Heli in Documents relating to the Danelaw for Nottinghamshire in 1154 A.D. More common variations are: Ealey, Elley, Eyley, Eeley, Eleya, Eiley, Eleye, Yeley, Ehley, Euley.

The surname Eley first found in Cambridgeshire Where they held a family seat from very early times and given lands by Duke William of Normandy, their true Lord, for their special assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Huna de Ely, dated 1086, in the “ Ancient Charters of Cambridgeshire”. It was during the reign of King William 1st, who was known as “The Conquerer” dated 1066-1087.  Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Eleywho arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Robert Eley, who arrived in Virginia in 1639.  John Eley, who landed in Virginia in 1649.  Christopher Eley, who arrived in Virginia in 1651.  William Eley, who came to Maryland in 1668. Some of the people with the name Eley who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Ulderick Eley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729.  Abraham Eley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765. Some of the individuals with the surname Eley who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Abraham Eley, English convict from Nottingham, who moved aboard the “Adamant” in March 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia.  John Eley, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship “Indian”.  John Eley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Indian” in 1849.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Notes: (Utterby, co. Lincoln). Blazon: Argent a fesse between six fleurs-delis sable. Crest—A cubit arm erect vested argent holding in the hand proper a fleur-de-lis sable.

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