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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Gailey family come from? When did the Gailey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gailey family history?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Gailey family have grown. The name Gailey was given to a member of the family who was a person who was known for their cheerful personality and their jovial disposition. The surname Gailey was originally derived form the Old English word gal, which described a person as being pleasant and merry.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gailey family name include Gale, Gail, Gaile, Gales and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gailey research. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1546, 1628, 1678, 1635, 1702, 1671, 1701, 1680, 1721, 1647, 1721, 1670 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Gailey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 159 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gailey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Gailey surname or a spelling variation of the name include : John Gale who settled in New England in 1656; another John settled in Virginia in 1623 with his wife Mary; Richard Gale settled in Barbados in 1635; John Gale settled in Barbados in 1685.

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  • Major-General Charles Kenon Gailey Jr. (1901-1966), American Chief of the Office of Civil Affairs, Department of the Army (1959)
  • Thomas Chandler Gailey Jr. (b. 1952), American NFL professional and college football coach
  • olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=57381">Francis "Frank" Gailey (1882-1972), American three-time silver medalist freestyle swimmer at the 1904 Summer Olympics
  • Doug Gailey (d. 2007), New Zealand former rugby league player


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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 20 November 2014 at 16:31.

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