Show ContentsCharnley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Charnley is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Charnock. It was established there in a pair of townships in Standish in the county of Lancashire. This surname is derived from the Old English Charnok which means one who lives beside the pile of stones. Often times this pile of stones served a primitive marker to establish borders for villages or counties. [1]

However, another source claims the name was originally Norman having "derived from the town of Chernoc, in Normandy." [2]

Early Origins of the Charnley family

The surname Charnley was first found in Lancashire at Charnock, Heath, a township, in the district chapelry of Adlington, parish of Standish, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland. Charnock-Richard is a nearby township, in the district chapelry of Coppull, parish of Standish, union of Chorley "This place was held in moieties by the Charnocks and Banasters. " [3]

"The Charnocks, who have their present home in the Ormskirk district, take their name from Lancashire townships. Roger de Chernock was mayor of Liverpool in 1437." [4]

Early History of the Charnley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Charnley research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1525, 1526, 1581, 1587, 1588, 1614, 1624, 1628, 1630, 1645, 1648, 1656, 1663, 1670, 1680, 1690, 1693, 1696 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Charnley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Charnley Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Charnley family name include Chernock, Charnock, Chernick, Chernocke and many more.

Early Notables of the Charnley family

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Charnock (c.1526-1581), an English alchemist and occultist who devoted his life to the quest for the Philosopher's Stone. Born in the Isle of Thanet, Kent, in 1524 or 1525, he travelled "all over England in quest of knowledge, he fixed his residence at Oxford, and there fell in with a noted chemist named. " [5]Roger Charnock (1588-1645), was an English politician, Member of Parliament for Newton in 1614; Thomas Charnock (1587-1648), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Newton in 1624; and Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), was an English Puritan Presbyterian clergyman. [5]Job...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Charnley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Charnley migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Charnley surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Charnley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H Charnley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • Anthony Charnley, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Blackburn, in 1897
Charnley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edith Charnley, aged 27, who landed in America from Morecambe, England, in 1907
  • Fred Charnley, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Belfast, Ireland, in 1907
  • Catherine Charnley, aged 47, who landed in America from England, in 1910
  • Frederick A. Charnley, aged 37, who settled in America from Leeds, England, in 1919
  • Charles Charnley, aged 42, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Charnley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Charnley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Charles F. Charnley, aged 36, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1914

Australia Charnley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Charnley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Charnley, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 24th March 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Robert Charnley, English convict who was convicted in Preston, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Charnley (post 1700) +

  • Mitchell Vaughn Charnley (1898-1991), American pioneer in journalism education
  • J. T. Charnley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1916 [9]
  • Ray Charnley (1935-2009), English footballer who played from 1954 to 1972, member of the England National Team in 1962
  • Bill Charnley (b. 1895), English footballer who played for Stoke from 1919 to 1920
  • Dave Charnley (b. 1935), English lightweight boxer, Undefeated British Lightweight Champion (1957-63)
  • Bryan Charnley (1949-1991), English artist, most famous for a series of surreal self portraits
  • Mr. Roger Mason Charnley B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Business and to the community in Burley-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire [10]
  • Samuel "Sam" Charnley (1902-1977), Scottish footballer who played from 1925 to 1931
  • James Callaghan "Chic" Charnley (b. 1963), Scottish former footballer who played from 1982 to 2003 and current coach
  • Sir John Charnley (1911-1982), British orthopedic surgeon, who pioneered total hip replacement surgery

The Charnley 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: Soyez content
Motto Translation: Be happy

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from
  10. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook