The ancient history of the Nolley name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in the area that was referred to as the knoll. This surname was originally derived from the Old English word cnolle which means one who lived at the top of the hill or the summit. 
Early Origins of the Nolley family
The surname Nolley was first found in Yorkshire 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.
Important Dates for the Nolley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nolley research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1325, 1407, 1514, 1596, 1521, 1399, 1410, 1547, 1632, 1599, 1691, 1588, 1659, 1614, 1621, 1622, 1624, 1626, 1628, 1629, 1599, 1691, 1646, 1668, 1665, 1537, 1550, 1610, 1571 and are included under the topic Early Nolley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nolley Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Nolley include Knollys, Knoll, Knolle, Knolles, Knowles, Knowlys and others.
Early Notables of the Nolley family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Robert Knolles (c. 1325-1407), an important English knight of the Hundred Years' War, operating with the tacit support of the Crown, succeeded in taking the only two major French cities, other than Calais and Poitiers, to fall to Edward III, methods earned him infamy as a freebooter and a ravager, the ruined gables of burned buildings came to be known as "Knolly's mitres"
Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596) was an English statesman, elder son of Robert Knollys (d. 1521.) He claims descent from Sir Thomas Knollys, Lord Mayor of London in 1399 and 1410...
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nolley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nolley family to Ireland
Some of the Nolley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nolley migration to the United States
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Nolley or a variant listed above:
Typical Nolley Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Nolley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- M P Nolley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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)