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

Origins Available: English, French

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

The name Jolley has a history dating as far back as the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for a person originating in France, and was associated with the French Huguenots. This nickname surname originated with an early member who was a happy and lively person. But we must look to Normandy where the earliest records of the root name was found. As a variant of Jolliffe, it was found there as early as 1195 with N. Giolif. Three years later Robert Jolif was listed in a census in the same area of Normandy.

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Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Jolley were recorded, including Jollie, Jolley, Jolly, Jollys and others.

First found in Yorkshire where there are numerous variations of the name listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 including: Johannes Yoly, Agnes, servienes Joly Johnan, Henricus Joly; Ricardus Jolyman; Willelmus Jolyman and Johannes Jolyman. This distinguished Huguenot family were granted lands firstly in Staffordshire. Many moved north into Scotland where records there show Alan and Bervy Jolly were granted lands in the county of Edinburgh in 1450.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolley research. Another 145 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1541, 1677, 1684, 1629, 1703, 1659 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Jolley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 135 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Jolley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Jolley arrived in North America very early:

Jolley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Jolley, who arrived in Virginia in 1714

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  • Moody Jolley (1910-1976), American thoroughbred horse racing owner, breeder and trainer
  • Steve Jolley (b. 1975), retired American soccer defender
  • LeRoy S. Jolley (b. 1937), United States Hall of Fame Thoroughbred horse trainer
  • Isaac Stanford Jolley Sr. (1900-1978), prolific American character actor
  • Smead Powell Jolley (1902-1991), American outfielder in Major League baseball
  • Dan Jolley, American author
  • Isaac Stanford Jolley Jr. (b. 1926), American art director and production designer
  • Doug Jolley (b. 1979), former American football tight end
  • Gordon Harold Jolley (b. 1949), former professional American football player
  • Alvin Jay Jolley, American professional football player and coach

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  1. 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.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Jolley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jolley 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 27 September 2013 at 13:11.

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