Crossely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Crossely is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived at a region known as the cross or for the dweller at the cross. [1]

Early Origins of the Crossely family

The surname Crossely was first found in Lancashire where "the name of an ancient gentle family of Todmorden during the 14th and loth centuries and of Scaitcliffe since the reign of Elizabeth." [2] Another source confirms Scaitcliffe as the point of origin, but adds "anciently Del Croslegh, are of unknown antiquity." [3]

We must look to nearby Yorkshire to find the first records of the family though. It is there that the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes de Crosselay; and Willelmus de Crosselay as holding lands there at that time.

"The same record (p. 189) registers the following inhabitants of Stansfield (Halifax), where the surname is now so strong—Isabella Groslee, Elena Crossle, Thomas Grosseleys, Johannes Grosles. The change of initial from 'C' to 'G' and vice versa is common; compare Crandidge for Grandage, also a Yorkshire instance." [4]

Early History of the Crossely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crossely research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1365, 1670 and 1744 are included under the topic Early Crossely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crossely Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Crossely has been spelled many different ways, including Crossley, Crossleigh, Crosslie, Crossly, Croseleigh, Croseley, Crosslay, Crosslow, Crosselie, Crosseley and many more.

Early Notables of the Crossely family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include David Crosly (1670-1744), English Baptist minister, born in the neighbourhood of Todmorden, Lancashire. He was brought up by a pious aunt, and in his youth worked as...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crossely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Crossely family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Crosselys to arrive in North America: Ann, Martha, Mary, Susannah, Crossley who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1765; Enoch, Frank, George, Henry, John, Robert, Stansfield, Thomas, Walter, and William Crossley, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1847 and 1872.



The Crossely 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: Credo et amo
Motto Translation: I believe and love.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook