Checklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Checklay family
The surname Checklay was first found in Staffordshire at Checkley, a village and civil parish in the district of Staffordshire Moorlands. There are actually two other Checkley villages: one in Cheshire and another in Herefordshire. Both of the latter are dated after the Domesday Book while the former was originally listed there as Cedla and later in 1196 as Chekeleg. All of the place names literally meant "wood or clearing of a man called Ceaddica or Ceacca."  Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Checkley, held by Otto from the King, a Norman noble who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Checkley Hall is a small country house in the parish of Checkley cum Wrinehill, Cheshire. It was built in 1694 by the Delves family of Doddington.
Early History of the Checklay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Checklay research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1281 and 1447 are included under the topic Early Checklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Checklay Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Checkley, Checkleigh, Checklee, Checkly, Chackley, Chackly and many more.
Early Notables of the Checklay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Checklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Checklay family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Checklay or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
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- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)