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

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

The Pilley surname is generally thought to be habitational name from either the place name Pillay, in southern Yorkshire; or Pilley in Hampshire. These place names are both thought to derive from the Old English word "pil" or "pile," meaning a "post," and "leah," which refers to a clearing in the woods.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Pilley, Pillet, Pilly, Pillay and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Pilley. The Norman influence of English history dominated after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. The family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates in that shire near Sheffield.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pilley research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1380, 1455, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Pilley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Pilley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pilley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Pilley, who arrived in America in 1734

Pilley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Pilley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1834
  • Mark Pilley, who arrived in Nebraska in 1871

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  • Dorothy Pilley (1894-1986), prominent English female mountaineer
  • Cameron Pilley (b. 1982), professional squash player from Australia


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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  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. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Pilley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pilley 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 19 January 2014 at 16:00.

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