Astley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient roots of the Astley family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Astley comes from when the family 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 Astley family
The surname Astley 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 Astley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Astley 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 Astley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Astley Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Astley has appeared include Astley, Astlee, Astlie, Astly and others.
Early Notables of the Astley 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...
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Astley arrived in North America very early:
Astley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Astley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Astley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Astley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Astley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.