Dudlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the bearers of the Dudlay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the important town of Dudley in the county of Worcestershire. The name of this town was originally derived from the Old English personal name Dudda and the Old English word leah, which means woodland clearing; thus it means Dudda's glade. The surname Dudlay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Dudlay family
The surname Dudlay was first found in Worcestershire at Dudley, a town that dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Dudelei. "This place derives its name from Dodo, or Dudo, a Saxon prince, by whom it was owned at the time of the heptarchy, and who built a castle here about the year 700, which, during the contest between Stephen and the Empress Matilda, was garrisoned for the latter by Gervase Paganell, to whom the barony at that time belonged. Gervase having subsequently taken part in the rebellion of Prince Henry against his father, Henry II., his castle was demolished in the 20th year of that monarch's reign. The present keep, with the gateway and chapel, is of the architecture of the 13th century; the other buildings were erected by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, in the time of Edward VI. " 
Dudley Castle was listed there and at that time Earl Edwin held the manor also located there. Dudley and much of the surrounding area was held by William fitzAnsculf and was part of the Came hundred. 
Today Dudley Castle is a ruined castle but has a visitor's center that was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in June 1994. At one time, the family was found in the chapelry of Singleton-in-the-Fylde (Little Singleton) in Lancashire as evidenced by this entry: "Edmund Dudley, who was attainted and executed in 1510, possessed Little Singleton." 
The same Sir Edmund Dudley's lands were lost also lost at Balderston, again in Lancashire. "A portion subsequently passed to the Dudley family; and after the execution of the celebrated Sir Edmund Dudley for high treason, an inquisition was taken, 1st Henry VIII., when it was found that the manor was an escheat to the crown." 
Early History of the Dudlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dudlay research. Another 352 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1225, 1379, 1547, 1553, 1532, 1588, 1561, 1588, 1462, 1510, 1504, 1553, 1550, 1553, 1576, 1653, 1600, 1684, 1647, 1720, 1686, 1597, 1670, 1661, 1721 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Dudlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dudlay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dudlay include Dudley, Dudlie, Dudly and others.
Early Notables of the Dudlay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir John Dudley of Atherington; and his son, Edmund Dudley (c.1462-1510), an English administrator and a financial agent of King Henry VII, Speaker of the House of Commons and President of the King's Council; John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG (1504-1553), an English general, admiral, and politician, who led the government of King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553
Thomas Dudley (1576-1653), was an American colonial magistrate from Yardley Hastings, England who served as 3rd, 7th, 11th and 14th Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and...
Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dudlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dudlay family to Ireland
Some of the Dudlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dudlay family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dudlay or a variant listed above: Andrew Dudley who landed in Virginia in 1622; Anne Dudley made her home in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; and Ben Dudley settled in Virginia in 1651; John Dudley chose the islands of Barbados as his stopping place in 1679. By the mid 1800's the family had settled as far west as San Francisco..
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)