Astlee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The present generation of the Astlee family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Warwickshire, where they founded the town of Astley. The name is local; a transliteration of the name is east leigh, or east wood. 
Astley is a district chapelry, in the parish and union of Leigh, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire.  "Astley Hall, or Damhouse, situated in the township of Tyldesley, but on the borders of that of Astley, was built in 1650 by Adam Mort, from whom it has passed to his descendant and present representative, Mrs. Ross, lady of Col. Malcolm Nugent Ross, who has greatly enlarged the mansion." 
Astley is also a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester. "An alien priory of Benedictine monks was founded here by Ralph de Todeni, in the reign of William I.; it was annexed to the college of Westbury, in that of Edward IV., and given, at the Dissolution, to Sir Ralph Sadleir." 
Early Origins of the Astlee family
The surname Astlee was first found in Warwickshire at Astley, a village and parish within the North Warwickshire district. There are other locals through Britain, but this seems to be local from which the family are descended. The name can be "traced to Philip de Estlega in the 12th of Henry II, and in the female line from the Constables of Melton-Constable, which estate came into the family be the second marriage of Thomas Lord Astley with Edith, third sister and coheir of Geoffrey de Donstable, in the time of Henry II." 
"A short distance to the north of the church [in Astley, Warwickshire] is a mansion, erected in the sixteenth century, on the site of a more ancient baronial castle: in the interior are a chair and table, which, according to an inscription, were those used by Henry, Marquess Grey and Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey, when concealed in a hollow tree in the vicinity." 
Astley Castle, the original seat, descended by an heiress to the Greys of Ruthin.
Early History of the Astlee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Astlee research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1295, 1579, 1652, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1595, 1642, 1659, 1660, 1639, 1729, 1667, 1739, 1692, 1760, 1729, 1802, 1756, 1817, 1797, 1859, 1662, 1625, 1688, 1687, 1772 and 1821 are included under the topic Early Astlee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Astlee Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Astlee include Astley, Astlee, Astlie, Astly and others.
Early Notables of the Astlee family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Jacob Astley, Lord Astley (1579-1652), English Royalist, the second son of Isaac Astley of Melton Constable, Norfolk. "During the first civil war Astley is a notable figure. He was among those 'hurt' at Edgehill (13 Oct. 1642.) He commanded a division at the siege of Gloucester. When Essex, after relieving that city, had fought the battle of Newbury (20 Sept. 1643), and had continued his retreat to London, Sir Jacob possessed himself of Reading. In 1644 he assisted Lord Hopton in the capture of Arundel (soon retaken by Waller), and shared in...
Another 145 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Astlee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Astlee family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Astlee were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Charles Astley who settled in New England in 1684; Henry Astley settled in Philadelphia in 1781; Christopher Astley settled in Newcastle, Del. in 1852..
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The Astlee 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: Justitiae tenax
Motto Translation: Justice preserves.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.