Calvelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The history of the Calvelay family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat on lands in the lordship of Calverley.
Early Origins of the Calvelay family
The surname Calvelay was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Calverley, a parish, in the union of Bradford, wapentake of Morley. 
Today Calverley is a village in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire but the place name actually dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was first listed as Caverleia  and literally meant " clearing where calves are pastured," from the Old English words "calf" + "leah." 
Nearby is Calverley Old Hall, a medieval manor house which is believed to have been built (1485-1495) by the Calverleys. Today the property is held by the Landmark Trust. Baron Calverley is a recent barony created in 1945 for George Muff, the Labour politician. Calverleigh is a village, parish and former manor in Devon that also dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Calodelie and later as Calewudelega in 1194.  However, this later village was held by the Nagle family for many years.
Of note, was Sir Hugh Calveley (d. 1393), a distinguished soldier, "the son of David de Calvelegh, and his first wife Joan, of Lea in Cheshire, and was the brother, it is thought, of Sir Robert Knolles. Calveley was one of the soldiers of fortune engaged in the war of succession between the partisans of the widow of Jean de Montfort and the wife of Charles de Blois, which lasted with varying fortune from 1341 to 1364. He was buried in the chancel of his college, and his effigy in complete armour may still be seen on one of the finest altar-tombs in his native county. It is engraved in Lysons and in Ormerod. A tablet is suspended against the north wall, opposite to the monument of Calveley, recording a bequest by Dame Mary Calveley of 100l., the interest to be given to poor people frequenting the church on the condition of their cleaning the monument and chancel." 
Early History of the Calvelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Calvelay research. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1605, 1608, 1136, 1700, 1658, 1394, 1670, 1749, 1605, 1608 and 1607 are included under the topic Early Calvelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Calvelay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Calverley, Calveley, Calverlie, Calverly and others.
Early Notables of the Calvelay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Hugh Calveley (died 1394), an English knight and commander, who took part in the Hundred Years' War; his effigy lies at St Boniface's Church, Bunbury, Cheshire; Sir Walter Calverley (1670-1749), 1st Baronet of Calverley in the County of York; and Sir John Calverley, Lord of Calverley.
On the more infamous side, Walter Calverley (died 1605), grandson Sir Walter Calverley was an English squire and murderer. His notoriety came not from the murders but from the literary works that arose from his acts including: A Yorkshire...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Calvelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Calvelay family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Calvelay or a variant listed above were: Henry Calverley who settled in Philadelphia with his two brothers, Thomas and William, in 1848; but George Calverlie had settled in Bermuda in 1635.
Related Stories +
The Calvelay 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: Ex caligine veritas
Motto Translation: Truth out of darkness.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print