Show ContentsChurchay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Churchay family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living near a church. The surname Churchay is derived from the old English word cyrice, which is itself derived from the Late Greek word kyrikon, which means house of the Lord. [1] [2]

Churchay therefore belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. The Aglish surname is only found in Ireland where it is one of the few times an English name has been translated into Irish (eaglais, pronounced aglish, Gaelic for a church)

Early Origins of the Churchay family

The surname Churchay was first found in principally in Somerset but also many counties of England. One of the first records of the name was Thomas Attechurche who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1296. The "atte" prefix was quite popular for this surname at that time. Henry atte Churche was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1368. Henry of the Chirche was listed in 1368. In Norfolk, records there show John Atte-cherch was rector of Metton in 1338. [3]

In Somerset, John atte Churche was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Robert atte Chyrche, Norfolk and later, John Atte-cherch was rector of Metton, Norfolk 1338. [5]

"In the 16th century the family of Church or Churche held the manor of Woodham - Mortimer; and in the 17th century, Mr. William Church owned part of the Arnolds estate in Lamborn parish, [Berkshire]." [6]

Early History of the Churchay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Churchay research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1338, 1388, 1639, 1718, 1676, 1675, 1741, 1675, 1723, 1580, 1572, 1659, 1903, and 1903 are included under the topic Early Churchay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Churchay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Churchay include Church, Churche, Churchey, Aglish (Ireland) and others.

Early Notables of the Churchay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Colonel Benjamin Church (c.1639-1718), captain of the first Ranger force in America (1676) and is considered the father of American ranging. John Church (1675?-1741), was an English musician, "said to have been born at Windsor in 1675, and educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford. " [7] " He obtained also the appointments of lay vicar and master of the choristers of Westminster Abbey. Church composed some anthems and also many songs, which appeared in...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Churchay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Churchay family to Ireland

Some of the Churchay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 277 words (20 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 Churchay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Churchay or a variant listed above: Richard Church who settled in Plymouth in the year 1630; who arrived in the fleet with Winthrop in 1630. He was admitted as a freeman of the Colony in 1633. He built the first Church of Dover in 1662. He was taken by Indians, escaped and was finally killed twenty years later by Indians in his own home. Richard Church settled in Virginia in 1630.

The Churchay 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 Translation: Virtue

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook