An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Where did the English McLay family come from? What is the English McLay family crest and coat of arms? When did the McLay family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McLay family history?McLay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The McLay family lived in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat at Claye.
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Clay, Claye, Cley, Cleye, McClay and others.
First found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLay research. Another 208 words(15 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early McLay History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early McLay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the McLay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 129 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name McLay or a variant listed above:
McLay Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
McLay Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Per orbem
Motto Translation: Through the world.
The McLay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McLay 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 6 August 2012 at 12:03.
houseofnames.com is an internet property owned by Swyrich Corporation.