Chomlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Chomlay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chomlay family lived in the township of Cholmondley in the parish of Malpas in Cheshire. The name is traditionally pronounced Chumley.
Early Origins of the Chomlay family
The surname Chomlay was first found in Cheshire at Cholmondeley, a civil parish and village where they were "descended from the Barons of Malpas, and directly from Robert de Cholmondelegh, second son of William Belward, lord of a moiety of the Barony of Malpas, and younger brother of David the ancestor of the Egertons; which Robert was seated at Cholmondeley in the reign of King John." 
Another source concurs with this origin but offers more details and different spellings (as is typically the case): "Robert, son of Hugh, Baron of Malpas, is stated in Domesday Book to have held the Lordship of Calmundelei; and there is no doubt that the entry on the Battle Abbey Roll refers to him. He had no son, but was succeeded in his broad lands by his only daughter Lettice, the wife of Richard de Belward. The son or grandson of this alliance, William de Belward, Baron of Malpas, married Beatrix, daughter of Hugh Keveliok, fifth Earl of Chester, and had three sons - 1, David de Malpas, ancestor of the Egertons; 2, Robert, who assumed the appellation of Cholmondeley, and was progenitor of the various families of the name, seated in Cheshire, Yorkshire, &c.; and 3, Peter, whose posterity, under the name of Clerk, was settled at Thornton, and became extinct temp. Edward III." 
The regal Cholmondeley Castle is now a country house located there with majestic formal gardens. The house has been a seat of the Cholmondeley family since the 12th century.
The parish of Delemere in Cheshire was home to a distinguished branch of the family. "On its inclosure it gave the title of Baron Delamere, of Vale Royal, to Thomas Cholmondeley, Esq., the proprietor of the ancient possessions of the Cistercian monks of Vale Royal, whose sumptuous abbey, completed in 1330 by Edward III., at a cost of £32,000, was dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Nichasius, and in the 26th of Henry VIII." 
"The manor [of Chorley, Cheshire] was possessed by the Harcourt family in the reign of Edward II., when the two coheiresses of Robert Harcourt married into the Cholmondeley family. Isabel brought a moiety to Hugh Cholmondeley, whose daughter and heiress married Roger Bromley, of Basford; after continuing in the Bromley family for several descents, it was purchased, in 1561, by the Cholmondeleys of Cholmondeley, ancestors of the present Marquess of Cholmondeley. The other moiety passed with Maud to the ancestor of the Cholmondeleys of Chorley, and came to the marquess's family by purchase, in the reign of Henry VI. " 
Early History of the Chomlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chomlay research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1460, 1521, 1584, 1659, 1628, 1645, 1552, 1553, 1600, 1657, 1624, 1629, 1640, 1643, 1632, 1689, 1609, 1666, 1641, 1666, 1681, 1662 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Chomlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chomlay Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chumley, Cholmondeley, Chamandy, Cholemley, Cholmeley, Cholmle, Cholmley and many more.
Early Notables of the Chomlay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Cholmondeley (1460-1521), English farmer and soldier, who served as Lieutenant of the Tower of London; Robert Cholmondeley (1584-1659), created 1st Viscount Cholmondeley in 1628 and became 1st Earl of Leinster (Ireland) and Baron Cholmondeley (England) in 1645, Chief Justice of England in 1552-1553; Sir Hugh Cholmeley (Cholmley) (1600-1657) 1st Baronet, an English landowner, Member of Parliament for Scarborough (1624-1629) and (1640-1643), initially a Parliamentarian but...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chomlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chomlay family to Ireland
Some of the Chomlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chomlay family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chomlay or a variant listed above: Margaret Cholmondely who settled in New England in 1705; Joab Cholmley settled in Jamaica in 1684; Robert Cholmle settled in Virginia in 1623.
Related Stories +
The Chomlay 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: Cassis tutissima virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the safest helmet.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.