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

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

The Moorley name is habitational, derived from any of the several places so named; such as Morley in Cheshire, Derbyshire, County Durham, Norfolk, and West Yorkshire, and Moreleigh in Devon. These place names come from the Old English words "mor," meaning "marsh" and "le-ah," meaning "a clearing in the woods."

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Moorley has been recorded under many different variations, including Morley, Mawley, Morely, Moorley, Maughley, Morleigh, Moorley and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor and original from Ufton in Berkshire. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year of Edward III when Richard Morley held lands.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorley research. Another 427 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1477, 1455, 1487, 1510, 1600, 1483, 1557, 1602, 1586, 1658, 1625, 1640, 1597, 1684, 1660, 1662, 1662, 1684, 1660, 1616, 1667, 1640 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Moorley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 177 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moorley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Moorley or a variant listed above: Catherine Morley, who came to Salem in 1630; Henry Morley, who arrived in Virginia in 1635; Robert Morley, who arrived in Virginia in 1653; Charles Morley, who arrived in Virginia in 1658.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Moorley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moorley 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 8 July 2013 at 14:49.

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