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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The chronicle of the name Christley begins with a family in the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name is derived from Christopher or perhaps from Christian.


The surname Christley was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area where they held a family seat at Carvant. By 1296 they had moved northward to Stirlingshire and there is a section of the Stirling Antiquary called "the Christies and their doings." A charter from 1457 granted by the abbot of Lindores mentions John Chrysty as a burgess. Later, John Chryste was listed as burgess of Aberdeen in 1530.

When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Christley has been written Christie, Chrystie, Chrysty, Christy, McChristie, McChristy, Christe, Christi and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Christley research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 189 and are included under the topic Early Christley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Christley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Christley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Christley: Agnes Christie settled in Maryland in 1736; Thomas settled in Georgia in 1732; Richard settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Alexander Christy arrived in New York in 1738.


  • Roxanne Christley, American producer, known for her work on All They Knew Were Apples (2009)
  • Jaime Neal Christley (b. 1977), American producer from Groton, Connecticut, known for his work on The Unspeakable Act (2012)
  • Edward A. P. Christley, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, 1922-35 (acting, 1922-23)
  • Alfred M. Christley (b. 1860), American politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1908; Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1912; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 41st District, 1921-24

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: Sic viresco
Motto Translation: Thus I flourish


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    Other References

    1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    3. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
    4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
    5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    8. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
    9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    11. ...

    The Christley Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Christley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 25 January 2016 at 14:40.

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