Airay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Airay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Airay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Airay family lived in the Castle of Airey, or Arey in Normandy. The earliest record of the name was in 1198 of Goisbert de Arreio in Normandy. In England, the family settled mostly in the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (now part of Cumbria) having derived from the word eyrara which means gravel-banked stream. 
Another source notes "this Cumberland family consider the name to have been borrowed from some elevated dwelling among the mountains called an Eyrie, such designations for residences not being uncommon." 
Early Origins of the Airay family
The surname Airay was first found in the northern English counties of Cumberland and Westmorland where they held a family seat from very ancient times, probably long before the Norman Conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy in 1066 A.D.
Early records for the family are very scarce. The only entry we found was of Robert de Hayra who was listed in 1301 as holding lands in Lancashire at that time. 
Christopher Airay (1601-1670), the pioneer of English logic and Henry Airay (c. 1560-1616), the Puritan divine and author both hail from Westmorland. 
Early History of the Airay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Airay research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1301, 1332, 1611, 1833, 1911, 1600 and 1655 are included under the topic Early Airay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Airay Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Airay family name include Airey, Airy, Airie, Arey, Array, Aireys, Aries, Areys and many more.
Early Notables of the Airay family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Airay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Airay family to Ireland
Some of the Airay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Airay family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Airay family to immigrate North America: Henry Airey, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856; Robert Airy settled in Boston, in 1765.
Related Stories +
The Airay Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Je le tiendrai
Motto Translation: I will possess.
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)