Beklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Beklay surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Sussex and Buckinghamshire. [1] The Beklay surname is a habitational name derived from any of various places named Beckley, such as those in Kent, Oxfordshire, and Sussex. The place name Beckley comes from the Old English name becca with the Old English word leah, meaning a clearing in the forest. [2]

Early Origins of the Beklay family

The surname Beklay was first found in Suffolk where Ralph de Beckele was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1211. Later, Richard de Beckele was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and later again, John Beklay was listed as a Freeman of York in 1446. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings for the family: Thomas de Beckelegh, Oxfordshire; and Henry de Beckcle, Oxfordshire. [4]

Early History of the Beklay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beklay research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1661, 1622, 1689, 1753, 1438 and 1291 are included under the topic Early Beklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beklay Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Beklay include Beckley, Beckly, Bistley, Bickley and others.

Early Notables of the Beklay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Beckley (died 1438), an English Carmelite, born in Kent, probably in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, where he appears to have entered the order of the Carmelites in early life. While still young he proceeded to Cambridge, where the Carmelites had a house since the year 1291. Here he seems to have taken his doctor's degree in divinity, and to have established a considerable reputation as a theologian. Bale...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Beklay family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Richard Beckley who arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1637; Sarah Bickley settled in Maryland in 1740; Richard Bickley settled in Virginia in 1624.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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