Airlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Airlay family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Airlay was a name given to a male who was of manly character. The surname Airlay originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Airlay belongs to a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames. Nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal.
Early Origins of the Airlay family
The surname Airlay was first found in Somerset where one of the first records of the name was John de Earlea who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1162. A few years later, William de Erlega was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1190 and John de Erley was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in 1230.  Bardsley claims the name was a local name "of Earley, a parish in the diocese of Oxford."  He quotes another contemporary source "Lower says 'A liberty in the parish of Sonning, co. Berks.' "  The latter Berkshire local was confirmed by Reaney. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following found in Somerset: Clemens Erleghe; Phillip Erlee; and Warin Erlee.  The Berkshire local is the only one we could find today.
Early History of the Airlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Airlay research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Airlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Airlay Spelling Variations
Airlay has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Airlay have been found, including Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
Early Notables of the Airlay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Airlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Airlay family to Ireland
Some of the Airlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Airlay family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Airlays to arrive on North American shores: Robert Early who settled in New England in 1633; and Thomas Early who settled in North Carolina in 1700; Edward Erle settled in Virginia in 1635; Michael Earley settled in Philadelphia in 1868.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)