An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Origins Available: English, Irish
Where did the English Early family come from? What is the English Early family crest and coat of arms? When did the Early family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Early family history?Early is a name whose history is entwined with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a male who was of manly character. The surname Early originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Early 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.
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Early were recorded, including Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Early research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Early History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Early Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Early family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Early family emigrate to North America:
Early Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Early Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Early Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Early Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Early Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Early Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Early Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Early Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 16 September 2015 at 09:41.