Bernley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Bernley name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in Lancashire, where they derived their name from the town of Burnley, in the parish of Whalley. The name is generally believed to be derived from "Brun Lea" meaning "meadow by the River Brun." 
Early Origins of the Bernley family
The surname Bernley was first found in Lancashire, where Burnley dates back to 1122, when a charter granted the church of Burnley to the monks of Pontefract Abbey. The Market Cross, erected in 1295 survives today at Burnley College.
Early History of the Bernley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernley research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1500, 1662, 1691 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Bernley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bernley Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bernley has undergone many spelling variations, including Burnley, Brunlay, Burnlie, Burnly, Bernley and others.
Early Notables of the Bernley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bernley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bernley family
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bernley were among those contributors: Peter Burnley who arrived in Maryland in 1685 and John Burnley who arrived in Philadelphia in 1846.
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The Bernley 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: Pretiumque et causa laboria
Motto Translation: The reward and cause of labour.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)