Craley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Craley is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in Crawley in the counties of Northumberland, Sussex and Bedfordshire. These place names derive from the Old English word "cra-we," meaning "crow," and "le-ah," meaning a " clearing in the woods." [1]

We shall attempt to now discuss their significance to the family. The Northumberland township "was anciently called Crawlawe, from Caer-law, a fortified hill. Crawley Tower, a Roman structure, stands on an eminence near an old and strong intrenchment, which is thought to be the Alauna Amnis of Richard of Cirencester, though some place this station at Alnwick, and others at Glanton. " [2]

The East Sussex parish so named, is in the union of East Grinstead, hundred of Buttinghill, rape of Lewes. "Crawley is a post-town, consisting of one wide street, in which stands a remarkably fine old elm-tree of immense girth: the houses on the west side of the village are in the parish of Ifield." [2]

Early Origins of the Craley family

The surname Craley was first found in various counties throughout ancient Britain. So as to proves that point, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Alan de Craule, Oxfordshire; Hugh de Craule, Bedfordshire and Margaret de Craule, Oxfordshire. [3]

Early History of the Craley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Craley research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1518, 1588, 1584, 1649, 1584, 1598, 1623, 1626 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Craley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Craley Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Craley has been recorded under many different variations, including Crawley, Crawly, Craley, Crally and others.

Early Notables of the Craley family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Robert Crole, Croleus, Crowley (1518?-1588), English author, printer, and divine, born in Gloucestershire. [4] Sir Francis Crawley (1584-1649), was an English judge, born at Luton, Bedfordshire, on 6 April 1584. "There is no trace of him at the universities, however. He studied law first at Staple Inn and then at Gray's Inn, to which he was admitted...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Craley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Craley family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Craley or a variant listed above: John Crally, who arrived in Maryland in 1664; Ann Crawley, who came to Pennsylvania in 1682; Charles Crawley, who settled in Virginia in 1700; John Crawley who settled in Maryland in 1729.


Contemporary Notables of the name Craley (post 1700) +

  • Nathaniel Neiman Craley Jr. (1927-2006), American Democrat politician, Furniture manufacturer; College instructor; Chair of York County Democratic Party, 1962-64; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 19th District, 1965-67


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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