Alley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Alley comes from the Scottish/English Borderlands and the ancient Boernicians who inhabited them. It is derived from the son of Amalghaidh, (an old Irish personal name). The distinguished name Alley is derived from the Gaelic name MacAmhalghaidh and was generally found in Dumbartonshire. Alternatively, the name could have come from the Gaelic name MacAmhlaibh or MacAmhaidh, which means son of Amlaib and in this case, the name was originally derived from the Norse King Olafr. This latter branch was generally found in the Hebrides.

Early Origins of the Alley family

The surname Alley was first found in at Ardencaple, in Dumbartonshire. Ardencaple "cape of the horses," was the ancestral home of the Lairds of Ardencaple and is located on the shores of the Gare Loch, in the historical district of Lennox, county Dumbarton. They were one of the Clans of MacAlpine.

The history of the MacAulay Clan is particularly complex as there are two distinct branches, in addition to an infusion of MacAulays during the reign of Robert the Bruce. The name of Aulay, brother of the Earl of Lennox, is found on the Ragman Rolls, which confirms his pledge of allegiance to King Edward I of England. This branch entered into a bond of manrent with MacGregor of Glenstrae in 1591.

The second branch of this Clan is that of the MacAulays of the Isle of Lewis. These Clansmen claimed descent from Aula (Olaf the Black), who was a thirteenth-century king of the Isles. Their lands were traditional centered around Uig. This branch was probably related to the numerous MacAulays of Ross and Sutherland.

Finally, some members of a branch of the MacAulay Clann from Ireland were invited by Robert the Bruce to Scotland to help in his wars against the English. These last MacAulays may be ancient relatives to those of Ardincaple, Dumbartonshire. It was some while later that the MacAulays were first recognized as a Clan.

Important Dates for the Alley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alley research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1595 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Alley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alley Spelling Variations

A lack of rules and the tendency of scribes to spell according to the sound of the word plagued medieval spelling. Not surprisingly, an enormous number of spelling variations appeared. Alley has been written MacAuly, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.

Early Notables of the Alley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was the 'MacCawlis' who appear on the roll of Broken Clans in 1595. Their fortunes fell, the last of their lands of...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Alley family to Ireland

Some of the Alley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alley migration to the United States

Many Scots crossed the Atlantic for North America hoping to escape poverty, as well as persecution. Much of their heritage was lost along the way and overtime. This century, however, Clan societies and highland games have allowed many ancestral Scots to recover their birthright. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Alley arrived in North America very early:

Alley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hugh Alley, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635 [1]
  • John Alley, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1650 [1]
  • Philip Alley, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1655 [1]
  • Giles Alley, aged 42, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1668 [1]
  • Marcus Alley, who landed in Maryland in 1669 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Alley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Susanna Alley, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • James Alley, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [1]
  • Jean Alley, who landed in New York in 1725 [1]
Alley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christian Alley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1807 [1]

Alley migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Alley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Alley, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Reliance" [2]
  • Frances Alley, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Reliance" [2]
  • Maria Alley, aged 26, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Navarino" [3]

Alley migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Alley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Alley, aged 26, a brickmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • William Alley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Shepherd" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Alley (post 1700)

  • Louise Frances Koury Alley (1927-2015), American radio personality with station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Kirstie Louise Alley (b. 1951), American Golden Globe Award winning actress, best known for her roles in Cheers (1982), Veronica's Closet (1997) and Look Who's Talking (1989)
  • Zebulon Doyle "Zeb" Alley (1928-2013), American lawyer, lobbyist, and politician
  • Tom Alley (1889-1953), American racecar driver
  • Tom W. Alley (b. 1942), former American football player and coach
  • Lindsey Erin Alley (b. 1977), American actress and singer
  • Steven James "The Cat" Alley (b. 1953), retired American professional ice hockey player
  • Vernon Alley (1915-2004), American jazz bassist
  • Fred Alley (1962-2001), American musical theatre lyricist and librettist
  • John Bassett Alley (1817-1896), American businessman and politician
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Alley family

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Jay Edgar Alley, American Gunner's Mate First Class from North Carolina, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [4]

You May Also Like


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RELIANCE 1851. Retrieved
  3. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th August 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Navarino 1854. Retrieved
  4. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate