Earlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Earlay comes from its first bearer, who was a male who was of manly character. The surname Earlay originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Earlay belongs to a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames. Nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal.
Early Origins of the Earlay family
The surname Earlay was first found in Somerset where one of the first records of the name was John de Earlea who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1162. A few years later, William de Erlega was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1190 and John de Erley was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in 1230.  Bardsley claims the name was a local name "of Earley, a parish in the diocese of Oxford."  He quotes another contemporary source "Lower says 'A liberty in the parish of Sonning, co. Berks.' "  The latter Berkshire local was confirmed by Reaney. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following found in Somerset: Clemens Erleghe; Phillip Erlee; and Warin Erlee.  The Berkshire local is the only one we could find today.
Early History of the Earlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earlay research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Earlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Earlay 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. Earlay has been spelled many different ways, including Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
Early Notables of the Earlay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Earlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Earlay family to Ireland
Some of the Earlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 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 Earlay 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 Earlays to arrive in North America: Robert Early who settled in New England in 1633; and Thomas Early who settled in North Carolina in 1700; Edward Erle settled in Virginia in 1635; Michael Earley settled in Philadelphia in 1868.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)