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

Where did the English Culley family come from? What is the English Culley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Culley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Culley family history?

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Culley family name to the British Isles. They lived in Derbyshire, in the area of Cully.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Culley, Cully, Culy, Culey and others.

First found in Norfolk where Hunfrid de Cuelai was listed there in the Domesday Book. [1] However, we must look to the aforementioned reference of Derbyshire to find the earliest land grants for the surname. And Ratcliffe Culey, a hamlet near the border of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, part of the civil parish of Witherley can be ruled out as the origin of the name as the hamlet's first reference was in the 1600's.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Culley research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1559, and 1606 are included under the topic Early Culley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Culley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Culley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Culley or a variant listed above were:

Culley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Samuel] Culley, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625

Culley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Timothy Culley, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

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  • Travis Hugh Culley, American philosopher and writer
  • Wendell Philips Culley (1906-1983), American jazz trumpeter
  • Derek Culley (b. 1952), Irish artist
  • Charles Ernest Culley (1877-1949), Australian politician, member of the Australian House of Representatives


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  1. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Culley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Culley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 November 2012 at 14:35.

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