Callis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Callis was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Callis family lived in Norfolk, where they were Lords of the Castle of Cailly. The name was originally from 'de Cailli,' from Cailli, an arrondissement of Rouen. [1] "Hugh de Cailly, lord of Orby, Norfolk, was head of the family whence sprang the barony." [2]

Another source believes that the name was from "the French town, Calais, possessed by the English from temp. Edward II. to Queen Mary." [3]

Early Origins of the Callis family

The surname Callis was first found in Norfolk where one of the first records of the name was William de Kailli, de Caly who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1210. Alternatively the name Caley, is a fairly common Manx name. [4]

There are very few early records of the name but researchers did manage to find two records in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Osbert de Caly, Norfolk; and Hugh de Caly, Norfolk. [2]

"The Calleys of Wilts deduce from Norfolk. I find no locality so denominated, and the family may possibly spring from the Scottish M'Caulays." [3]

The plural from of the name was popular too in the early years. The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III listed "John de Caleys, Jersey, 20 Edward I" (during the twentieth year's reign of Edward I.) The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus de Calays; and Robertas Calas. [2]

Early History of the Callis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Callis research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1661, 1610, 1681, 1560, 1603, 1798, 1602, 1667, 1640, 1667, 1709, 1635, 1708, 1654, 1727, 1663, 1717, 1576 and 1634 are included under the topic Early Callis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Callis Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Cailly, Calley, Callis, Cally, Caley, Cayley and many more.

Early Notables of the Callis family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Cawley (1602-1667), British politician, MP for Midhurst in 1640 and regicide who fled to the Netherlands and then Switzerland after the Restoration. He was the eldest son of John Cawley, a brewer of Chichester, who was three times mayor. His son, John Cawley, was Archdeacon of Lincoln 1667-1709. [5] Sir William Cayley, was 2nd Baronet (1635-c. 1708); Sir Arthur Cayley, 3rd Baronet (c. 1654-1727); and John Calley (1663-1717), was...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Callis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Callis Ranking

In the United States, the name Callis is the 5,168th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

United States Callis migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Callis or a variant listed above:

Callis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Callis, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [7]
  • Francis Callis, who landed in Maryland in 1669 [7]
Callis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Callis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1832 [7]
  • F Callis, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1871 [7]
  • Sarah Callis, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Chas. Callis, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1895
Callis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Raffael Callis, aged 46, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Ernest A. Callis, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Leicester, England, in 1910
  • Ada Callis, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from Workington, England, in 1910
  • Catharine Callis, aged 20, who landed in America, in 1910
  • George Callis, aged 2, who landed in America, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Callis (post 1700) +

  • John Benton Callis (1828-1898), American politician, U.S. Representative from Alabama, officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Charles Albert Callis (1865-1947), American member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Henry Arthur Callis (1887-1974), American co-founder of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University in 1906
  • Samuel "Sam" Callis (b. 1973), English actor and film director, best known for his role as Sergeant Callum Stone in The Bill
  • James Callis (b. 1971), English actor, best known as Bridget Jones' best friend in Bridget Jones's Diary
  • John William "Jo" Callis (b. 1951), English musician and songwriter
  • Don Callis (b. 1964), Canadian former professional wrestler and manager

The Callis 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: Callide et honeste
Motto Translation: Wisely and honourably.

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook