Bromlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the name Bromlay date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Bromlay family lived in Bromley Abbots or Bromley Bagots in Staffordshire. Bromley itself is derived from the Old English word bromleigh which means clearing where brambles are found.  
Alternatively the name could have originated from the Old English words "brom" + "leah," and meant "woodland clearing where broom grows."  
However, there are numerous villages and parishes named Bromley throughout Britain. One of the oldest was Bromley in Kent. "This place, which is supposed to have derived its name from the quantity of broom with which the neighbourhood abounds, was in the eighth century given by Ethelbert, King of Kent, to the bishops of Rochester, in whose possession it remained, with very little interruption, till the recent purchase of an estate in Essex for the see." 
Early Origins of the Bromlay family
The surname Bromlay was first found in Staffordshire where one of the first records of the name was Geoffrey de Bromleye who was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list Robert de Bromlegh in Salop. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes de Bromylegh. 
Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire "derives its distinguishing name from a Benedictine monastery founded at Blythebury, in the neighbourhood, in the latter part of the reign of Henry I., or the beginning of that of Stephen, by Hugh Mavesyn, and dedicated to St. Giles. " 
King's Bromley, again in Staffordshire, "was anciently called Brom Legge, and derived its present name from having been the property of the crown for nearly two centuries after the Norman Conquest, previously to which time it had been distinguished as the residence of the earls of Mercia. Leofric, the husband of the famous Lady Godiva, died here in 1057; and she was herself buried here." 
"Wootton Hall [in Wooton, Staffordshire], the seat of the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley, who is owner of the village, is built on a spot than which, in the entire range of the vale of Dove, there is scarcely one more adapted for a noble mansion: its situation is a lofty sloping bank rising from a forest-like seclusion; and the landscape of mountain, meadow, and sylvan scenery is almost unbounded."  "The ancient manor of Alvaston [in Cheshire] was possessed by the Bromley family, but no manor now exists." 
The markettown and parish of Bromley in Kent "is supposed to have derived its name from the quantity of broom with which the neighbourhood abounds, was in the eighth century given by Ethelbert, King of Kent, to the bishops of Rochester, in whose possession it remained, with very little interruption, till the recent purchase of an estate in Essex for the see. The episcopal residence had become so ruinous in 1184, that Gilbert de Glanvill was obliged to expend a considerable sum in repairing it. " 
Early History of the Bromlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bromlay research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1706, 1555, 1530, 1587, 1530, 1587, 1579, 1587, 1652, 1707, 1705, 1707, 1664, 1732, 1699, 1737, 1717, 1682, 1718, 1707 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Bromlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bromlay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bromlay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bromlay include: Bromley, Bromiley, Bromily, Bromly, Bromely, Bromly, Bromleigh and many more.
Early Notables of the Bromlay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Bromley (d. 1555?), English judge of an old Staffordshire family, and a second cousin of Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-1587), son of Roger, son of Roger Bromley of Mitley, Shropshire.
Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-1587) of Cheshire, was Lord Chancellor of England (1579-1587.) He was descended from an ancient family established since the time of King John at Bromleghe, Staffordshire. 
John Bromley (c.1652-1707), of White River, St. Philip's, Barbados, and Horseheath Hall, Cambridgeshire, was an English...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bromlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bromlay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bromlay or a variant listed above: Daniel Bromely settled in Virginia in 1635; John Bromiley arrived in Philadelphia in 1834; William Bromily arrived in Philadelphia in 1855; Alexander Bromley settled in Virginia in 1655.
Related Stories +
The Bromlay 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: Non inferior secutus
Motto Translation: Not following meaner things.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print