Ayrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Ayrey came to England with the ancestors of the Ayrey family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ayrey 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 Ayrey family
The surname Ayrey 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 Ayrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ayrey 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 Ayrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ayrey Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Ayrey are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ayrey include Airey, Airy, Airie, Arey, Array, Aireys, Aries, Areys and many more.
Early Notables of the Ayrey family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ayrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ayrey family to Ireland
Some of the Ayrey 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 Ayrey family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Ayrey, or a variant listed above: Henry Airey, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856; Robert Airy settled in Boston, in 1765.
Related Stories +
The Ayrey 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)
- ^ Lowe, 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)