Show ContentsChesley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Chesley family

The surname Chesley was first found in Caldyrstarrs, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Chesley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chesley research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1682, 1689 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Chesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chesley Spelling Variations

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Chesley has been spelled Chiesley, Chesley, Chesly, Cheysly, Cheisley, Cheislie and many more.

Early Notables of the Chesley family

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chesley Ranking

In the United States, the name Chesley is the 10,112nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

United States Chesley migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

Chesley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Philip Chesley, who arrived in New England in 1642 2
  • Win Chesley, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 2
Chesley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Chesley who settled in Maryland in 1751
  • Robert Chesley, who settled in Maryland in 1751

Contemporary Notables of the name Chesley (post 1700) +

  • Albert Cornell Chesley (b. 1957), former American NFL football linebacker
  • Paul Chesley, American photojournalist from Red Wing, Minnesota for the National Geographic Society
  • Robert Chesley (1943-1990), American playwright, theater critic and musical composer from Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Alison Chesley (b. 1960), birth name of Helen Money, American cellist and composer based in Chicago
  • Solomon Yeomans Chesley (1796-1880), American-born, Canadian public servant and politician in Canada West, eponym of the town of Chesley, Bruce County, Ontario
  • John Alexander Chesley (1837-1922), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for City and County of St. John (1892 to 1896)
  • Brigadier Leonard McEwan Chesley (b. 1898), Canadian Deputy Chief General Staff, National Defence Headquarters (1944-1945) 3
  • James Chesley Beale, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Virginia, 1928; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1932
  • Homer Chesley Pardue (1910-1979), American trainer and owner of Thoroughbred racehorses
  • Clifford Chesley Hubbard (b. 1884), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1944 4

The Chesley 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: Credo et videbo
Motto Translation: I believe, and I shall see.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 15) Leonard Chesley. Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook