Show ContentsCriley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Criley came to England with the ancestors of the Criley family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Criley family lived at Kirkley, a township in the parish of Poneteland in the county of Northumberland. The family name Criley became popular in England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. An early roll lists John de Curli of England, 1199 and this source presumes the name is from Thomas de Curleio in Normandy, 1198. [1]

Another source postulates the name means "dweller near Curley (bend or turn in the road), in Scotland; one who came from Curley, in France; one who had curly hair." [2]

Early Origins of the Criley family

The surname Criley was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Ashburnham, anciently Esseborne. These estates, including three salt houses, were granted to Robert de Criel, a Norman Knight, by William, Duke of Normandy for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D., and is so noted in the Domesday Book, [3] a survey taken of landholders in England in 1086.

Robert de Criel was from the Castle of Criel near Criel-sur-Mer in the arrondisement of Dieppe. Part of the walls of this huge castle are still standing, and there are also traces of a moat. Robert's chief tenant was the Count of Eu. [1]

Early English rolls showed a wide variety of spellings in Latin and early English: Rannulf de Curleio was listed at Hinton, Hampshire c. 1110; Robert de Curli was found in the Pipe Rolls for Oxfordshire in 1190; William de Curly in the Feet of Fines for Warwickshire 1227-1228; Benedict le Curly in Staffordshire in 1271; and Thomas Curly in the Subsidy Rolls for Warwickshire in 1332. [4]

Early History of the Criley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Criley research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1295, 1339, 1489, 1679, 1678, 1679, 1575, 1647, 1628, 1629, 1632, 1629, 1637, 1724 and are included under the topic Early Criley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Criley Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Crull, Crul, Cruel, Criel, Cryle, Kriel, Krile, Crile, Kirle, Kyrle, Cyrle, Kreel, Creel, Crulle, Crule, Curl, Curle, Girl, Cryll and many more.

Early Notables of the Criley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Walter Curle (Curll) (1575-1647), an English bishop, a close supporter of William Laud, Bishop of Rochester in 1628, Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1629...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Criley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Criley family to Ireland

Some of the Criley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 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 Criley family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Criley or a variant listed above: Henry Kirle who settled in Nevis in 1660; Joseph Kirle settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683; Frederich E. Kriel settled in Philadelphia in 1878.



The Criley 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: Nil moror ictus
Motto Translation: I do not care for blows.


  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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