Chorley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Chorley is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chorley family lived in Chorley, Lancashire, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Leyland. "The name of this place is derived from its situation on the river Chor, about a mile from its confluence with the Yarrow, and from the Saxon word Ley, a field; or from the family of Chorley, who were its ancient proprietors. The chief lordships of Chorley were subsequently held by the noble families of Ferrers and Lacy." [1]

Early Origins of the Chorley family

The surname Chorley was first found in Lancashire at Chorley. [2] We should now take a moment to explore the Cheshire branch of the family. It is generally believed that this was a latter branch as the first records there were found in the 16th century. Both townships there were originally held by the "Davenports from about the year 1400 until 1612, when it was purchased by the Downes family" and the "manor was possessed by the Harcourt family in the reign of Edward II., when the two coheiresses of Robert Harcourt married into the Cholmondeley family." [1]

In Berkshire, Walter de Cherlelaie was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1201 and later in Lancashire, Elias de Chorlegh was listed at Putnam in 1350. [3]

The Wills at Chester listed Bridget Chorley, of Chorley, 1595 and John Chorley, of Chester, 1610. [4]

Early History of the Chorley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chorley research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1719, 1808, 1830, 1873, 1807, 1867, 1807 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Chorley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chorley 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 Chorley, Chorly and others.

Early Notables of the Chorley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Josiah Chorley (d. 1719?), English Presbyterian minister, great-grandson of Richard Chorley of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, and second of six sons of Henry Chorley of Preston. [5] Henry Fothergill Chorley was a journalist, author, and art critic, born Dec. 15, 1808, at Blackley Hurst, in Lancashire. "Sprung from an old Lancashire family, he had a self-willed, eccentric character, and an erratic temperament, common to most of its members, which accorded ill with the rigid tenets of the Society of Friends, to which they belonged. At 8 years of age he lost his father, and...
Another 282 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chorley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Chorley migration to the United States +

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 Chorley or a variant listed above:

Chorley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Chorley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [6]
  • Joseph Chorley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [6]
  • Joseph Chorley who settled in Delaware Bay in 1683
  • Joseph Chorley, who settled in Virginia in 1690
Chorley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Chorley, who arrived in New Orleans in 1820
  • Henry Chorley, who settled in Philadelphia in 1829

Contemporary Notables of the name Chorley (post 1700) +

  • Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808-1872), English literary, art and music critic, writer and editor, born at Blackley Hurst, near Billinge in Lancashire, 15 Dec. 1808 [7]
  • Henry Fothergill Chorley, English music critic
  • Ben Chorley, English football player
  • Miss Claire Elizabeth Chorley M.V.O., British Paintings Conservator for Royal Collection Trust was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 17th June 2017
  • Charles Chorley (1810-1874), British journalist and man of letters, born at Taunton about 1810, son of Lieutenant and Paymaster John Chorley of the 1st Somerset militia [7]
  • Mrs. Carol Joy Chorley M.B.E., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for voluntary service to the community in Sarratt, Hertfordshire [8]
  • Robert Samuel Theodore Chorley QC (b. 1895), 1st Baron Chorley, a British legal scholar, public servant and Labour politician
  • Roger Richard Edward Chorley (b. 1930), 2nd Baron Chorley, a British chartered accountant and peer
  • Professor Richard John Chorley (1927-2002), Vice-Master, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Henry Chorley (d. 1912), aged 25, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [9]

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 25 Nov. 2019
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  9. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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