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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Gailey family come from? When did the Gailey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gailey family history?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Gailey family have grown. The name Gailey was given to a member of the family who was a person who was known for their cheerful personality and their jovial disposition. The surname Gailey was originally derived form the Old English word gal, which described a person as being pleasant and merry.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gailey family name include Gale, Gail, Gaile, Gales and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gailey research. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1546, 1628, 1678, 1635, 1702, 1671, 1701, 1680, 1721, 1647, 1721, 1670 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Gailey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 159 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gailey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Gailey surname or a spelling variation of the name include : John Gale who settled in New England in 1656; another John settled in Virginia in 1623 with his wife Mary; Richard Gale settled in Barbados in 1635; John Gale settled in Barbados in 1685.

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  • Major-General Charles Kenon Gailey Jr. (1901-1966), American Chief of the Office of Civil Affairs, Department of the Army (1959)
  • Thomas Chandler Gailey Jr. (b. 1952), American NFL professional and college football coach
  • olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=57381">Francis "Frank" Gailey (1882-1972), American three-time silver medalist freestyle swimmer at the 1904 Summer Olympics
  • Doug Gailey (d. 2007), New Zealand former rugby league player


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  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 23 April 2014 at 12:35.

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