The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066 brought the Cillay family name to the British Isles. They lived in Devon
. Ancient records reveal the name Cillay is derived from the Old English word saelig,
meaning one who is happy and blessed.
Early Origins of the Cillay family
The surname Cillay was first found in Devon
where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were Lords of the manor of Rackenford, and were conjecturally descended from Jocelyn who held the lands at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book
in 1086 A.D. from Baldwin, the Sheriff. The family may have originated in Cornwall
as in "John Silly, gentleman of St. Wenn, altered his name from Ceely to Silly." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
No dates were given with the previous quote.
One of the earliest records of the name was Henry de Sully (or Soilli) (died 1195), was a medieval monk, prior of Bermondsey Abbey in 1186, Bishop of Worcester (1193-1195) and Abbot of Glastonbury.
William, Count of Sully, also known as William the Simple (c. 1085-c. 1150) was Count of Blois and Count of Chartres from 1102 to 1107, and jure uxoris Count of Sully. William was the eldest son of Stephen-Henry, Count of Blois and Adela of Normandy, daughter of William the Conqueror. In 1104, William married Agnes of Sully, the heiress to the lordship of Sully-sur-Loire. Together they had six children including Henry de Sully (died 1189), the medieval Abbot of Fécamp and Bishop-designate of Salisbury and Archbishop-elect of York in 1140.
Over in France, Maurice de Sully (died 1196) was Bishop of Paris from 1160 until his death. He is best known for overseeing the building of Notre Dame Catherdaral.
Early History of the Cillay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cillay research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1361, 1283, 1388, 1680, 1729 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Cillay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cillay Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations
characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Silley, Silly, Cele, Sully, Silliman and others.
Early Notables of the Cillay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Sully (born c.1283-c.1388), of Ruxford and Iddesleigh in Devonshire, an English knight. The family were traditional lords of the manor of Iddesleigh in Devonshire. He was noted for giving evidence in Scrope v Grosvenor, one of the earliest heraldic law cases... Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cillay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cillay family to Ireland
Some of the Cillay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 74 words (5 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 Cillay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England
, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cillay or a variant listed above: Edward Silley settled in Virginia in 1635; Sarah Silley settled in Maryland in 1737; Hugh and John Silly settled in Barbados in 1660; Thomas Silly landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1877.