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

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

The history of the Acley family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in a clearing surrounded by oak trees. The surname Acley literally means oak-meadow. The surname Acley is associated with the village of Acle in Norfolk, and the village of Akeley in Buckinghamshire.

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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 Acley include Ackley, Acley, Acle, Ackle, Aclie, Acklie, Acly and others.

First found in Norfolk, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Acley research. Another 479 words(34 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1500, 1610, and 1769 are included under the topic Early Acley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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 Acley or a variant listed above:

Acley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Acley went to Virginia in 1703
  • James Acley, who arrived in Virginia in 1703

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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Acley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Acley 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 27 October 2010 at 13:13.

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