Ealy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Ealy family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from Fitz Elie, the name of a distinguished Norman family who came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror's invasion.
Early Origins of the Ealy family
The surname Ealy was first found in Cambridgeshire at Ely, a city, and the head of a union, in the Isle of Ely.  
"This place, which is the capital of an extensive district in the Fens, comprising the greater part of the northern division of Cambridgeshire, is supposed to have derived its Saxon name Elig either from the British Helyg, a willow, with which tree, from the marshy nature of the soil, it especially abounded, or, according to Bede, from Elge, an eel, for which fish it was equally remarkable. Ethelreda, daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles, founded a monastery here, in 673, for monks and nuns." 
The earliest records of the family were not from here, but in elsewhere at the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Reginald filius Elye, Lincolnshire; and Gilbert Elye, Kent. The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III also listed John filius Elie, Lincolnshire, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign) In Norfolk, Nicholas de Ely was bailiff of Norwich, 1227. 
Nicholas of Ely (d. 1280), was Chancellor and successively Bbishop of Worcester and Winchester, and "may have derived his name from the fact that about 1249 he was appointed Archdeacon of Ely. He was also a few years later Prebendary of St. Paul's. There is, however, a Nicholas of Ely mentioned as prior of the Cluniac monastery of Daventry in Northamptonshire between 1231 and 1264. " 
Early History of the Ealy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ealy research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1604, 1605, 1675, 1634 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Ealy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ealy Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Ely, Elie, Ealy and others.
Early Notables of the Ealy family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Ely (d. 1609), was an English Catholic divine, brother of Dr. Humphrey Ely and as born in Herefordshire, and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. His brother, Humphrey Ely (d. 1604), was also an English Catholic divine and a native...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ealy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ealy family to Ireland
Some of the Ealy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 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 Ealy family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Ealy or a variant listed above: Elizabeth Ely who settled in Virginia in 1623; Nathaniel Ely settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1630; Walter Ely settled in Virginia in 1621.
Contemporary Notables of the name Ealy (post 1700) +
- Michael Ealy (b. 1973), stage name of Michael Brown, American Golden Globe nominated actor, known for Seven Pounds (2008), Underworld: Awakening (2012) and Think Like a Man (2012)
- Samuel Ealy (1838-1915), American cattleman and a soldier
- Samuel Ealy (1877-1937), American Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives
- Biren Synclare Ealy (b. 1984), American football wide receiver
- David B. Ealy (b. 1888), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State Senate 2nd District, 1939-42 
- Charles H. Ealy (b. 1884), American Republican politician, Somerset County Solicitor, 1916-19; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 36th District, 1927-46; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 
- Samuel Ealy Johnson (1838-1915), American cattleman and a soldier
Related Stories +
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html