Bradelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Bradelay family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in Lincolnshire, where they held estates in the village and parish of Bradley, and from which they derived their family name. The name refers to the local "broad ley" meaning "broad meadow" and for this there are many, many parishes, townships, hamlets with this name throughout England.  However, the first record of the name appears in the Poll Tax Records of Lincolnshire where William de Bradelai was listed in 1170. 
Early Origins of the Bradelay family
The surname Bradelay was first found in Lincolnshire. However, there are at least fifteen parishes and towns that have "Bradley" as part of their name throughout Britain.  Most are very small, but three of them date back to the Domesday Book of 1086: Bradley, Derbyshire (Braidelei); Bradley, Maiden Wiltshire (Bradelie) and Bradley in the Moors, Staffordshire (Bretlei.)  A reference to the family in the township of Wilpshire in Lancashire was also found. "This place appears to have been the property of the Braddylls, and of the monks of Whalley." 
Early spellings of the family were very different than those in use today as seen by early entries in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Robert de Bradeleye, Cambridgeshire; and Brice de Bradeleghe, Somerset. 
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 also had early spellings: Willelmus Brodelegh; Agnes Brodelegh; and Agnes de Bradelay.
Kirby's Quest lists Richard de Bradleghe, Somerset, 1 Edward III and Henry de Bradleye, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III) 
Further to the north in Scotland, the family hails from "the lands of Braidlie in the barony of Hawick, Roxburghshire [where] John de Bradely rendered homage at Berwick in 1291 and William de Bradeleye of the county of Roxburghe rendered homage in 1296. The seal of William is a curious one, bearing a tree supported by two hares, the dexter one beating a cymbal or drum, the sinister playing a pipe; bird in top, a dog coiled at base, and legend S' Will'i de Bradeley." 
Early History of the Bradelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bradelay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1673, 1628, 1616, 1620, 1627, 1629, 1693, 1762, 1678, 1693, 1732 and are included under the topic Early Bradelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bradelay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bradelay include Bradley, Bradlie, Bradleigh, Bradly, Bradeley and others.
Early Notables of the Bradelay family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Francis Bradley; and Thomas Bradley (ca.1596-1673), English chaplain to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham and later Chaplain to King Charles I (1628.) "He became a battler of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1616, and proceeded B.A. on 21 July 1620. He was chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham for several years, and accompanied him in the expedition to Rochelle and the Isle of Rhé in 1627. After Buckingham's murder in the following year he became chaplain to Charles I, and on 16 June 1629 a captain in the expedition...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bradelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bradelay family to Ireland
Some of the Bradelay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bradelay family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bradelay or a variant listed above: Ann Bradley who settled in Nevis in 1654; Bartholomew Bradley settled in Virginia in 1650; George Bradley settled in Barbados in 1684; Richard Bradley settled in Maryland in 1634.
Related Stories +
The Bradelay 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: Vigilance et audax
Motto Translation: Vigilant and bold.
- ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)