Cheeklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Cheeklay family
The surname Cheeklay 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 Cheeklay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cheeklay research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1281 and 1447 are included under the topic Early Cheeklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cheeklay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Checkley, Checkleigh, Checklee, Checkly, Chackley, Chackly and many more.
Early Notables of the Cheeklay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cheeklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cheeklay family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Cheeklay name or one of its variants: 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)