Celay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Anglo-Saxon name Celay comes from happy person who had good fortune. It is derive from the Old English word saelig, meaning happy and blessed. [1]

Early listings of the name was typically seen a "sely" and "seli" and was referenced at least twice in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

"For sely is that deth, soth for to seyne, That, ofte y- cleped, com'th and endeth peyne"; and

"That Nicholas shal shapen hym a wyle This sely, jalous housbonde to bigyle."

Early Origins of the Celay family

The surname Celay was first found in Somerset where the first listings of name were found as a personal name: Sely atte Bergh; Sely Percy; and Sely Scury. All were found in Kirby's Quest temp. 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. [2] The one exception of the aforementioned was William Sely.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has some interesting entries too: William Sely in Oxfordshire; Egidius Sely in Norfolk; and John Sely in Gloucestershire. [3]

Important Dates for the Celay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Celay research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1618, 1621, 1760, 1602, 1668 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Celay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Celay Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Celay were recorded, including Cely, Ceeley, Celey, Ceely, Ceiley, Seely, Seeley and others.

Early Notables of the Celay family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Celay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Celay family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Celay family emigrate to North America: Robert Seely, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet; William Seely, who came to Barbados in 1635; John Seely, who came to Virginia in 1654.

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Citations

  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
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