Coulay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the name Coulay are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the common diminutive of the popular name Nicholas. Col was a common diminutive of the popular name Nicholas. The form Coulay was particularly popular in Yorkshire. Nicholas was the name of a popular saint from the fourth century, and was given to many children in England in the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Coulay family
The surname Coulay was first found in Gloucestershire at Coaley, a village in the union of Dursley, Upper division of the hundred of Berkeley which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Couelege and was held by King William.  The place name literally means "clearing with a hut or shelter," from the Old English "cofa" + "leah." 
Alternatively, the name could have originated in Yorkshire as by the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, the following were listed: Adam Coly; Agnes Coly; Rogeris Coly; and Willelmus Coiley as all holding lands there at that time. 
John Colley ( fl. 1440), was an early theological writer, "a member of the Carmelite convent at Doncaster. He is said to have been an elegant Latin writer and an eloquent preacher." 
Early History of the Coulay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coulay research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1513, 1560, 1554, 1633, 1695, 1633, 1585, 1637, 1621, 1674, 1648, 1700, 1698, 1699, 1685, 1723 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Coulay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Coulay Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Coulay family name include Colly, Colley, Collie, Caullie, Caulley, Caully, Coully, Coulley and many more.
Early Notables of the Coulay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Colly (c. 1513-1560), of Dover, Kent, an English politician, Member of Parliament for Dover in 1554.
Henry Coley (1633-1695?), was a mathematician and...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coulay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Coulay family to Ireland
Some of the Coulay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 111 words (8 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 Coulay family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Coulay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas Colley and his family who settled in Barbados in 1680; and three years later John Colley and his wife Susan moved to Philadelphia.
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print