Ceely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ceely is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from happy person who had good fortune. It is derive from the Old English word saelig, meaning happy and blessed. [1]

Early listings of the name was typically seen a "sely" and "seli" and was referenced at least twice in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

"For sely is that deth, soth for to seyne, That, ofte y- cleped, com'th and endeth peyne"; and

"That Nicholas shal shapen hym a wyle This sely, jalous housbonde to bigyle."

Early Origins of the Ceely family

The surname Ceely was first found in Somerset where the first listings of name were found as a personal name: Sely atte Bergh; Sely Percy; and Sely Scury. All were found in Kirby's Quest temp. 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. [2] The one exception of the aforementioned was William Sely.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has some interesting entries too: William Sely in Oxfordshire; Egidius Sely in Norfolk; and John Sely in Gloucestershire. [3]

Early History of the Ceely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ceely research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1618, 1621, 1760, 1602, 1668 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Ceely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ceely 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 Ceely has undergone many spelling variations, including Cely, Ceeley, Celey, Ceely, Ceiley, Seely, Seeley and others.

Early Notables of the Ceely family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ceely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ceely migration to the United States +

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 Ceely were among those contributors:

Ceely Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Marjorie Ceely, who settled in Virginia in 1640
  • Margery Ceely, who arrived in Virginia in 1640 [4]
  • Fran Ceely, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 [4]
  • William Ceely, who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • William Ceely, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)


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