Echelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Echelay surname lived in Buckinghamshire. The surname Echelay derives from the Old English word Aker-leah, which means "acre meadow owner." 
Early Origins of the Echelay family
The surname Echelay was first found in Buckinghamshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times. The name literally mane "dweller at the Acre-Lea, i.e., a common field divided into plots of various sizes. [Middle English aker, Old English aecer, a division of land +M.E. ley, Old English leah, a lea, field]." 
Early History of the Echelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Echelay research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1300, 1500, 1610, 1769, 1665, 1740, 1685, 1691, 1721 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Echelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Echelay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Echelay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Echelay include: Ackerly, Ackerley, Acerly, Akerley, Akeley, Acle, Ackle, Acley, Acly and many more.
Early Notables of the Echelay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Roger Acherley (1665?-1740), Welsh lawyer, constitutional writer, and politician, the son and heir of John Acherley of Stanwardine, or Stottesden, Shropshire, where he was the representative of a long-established family. Roger was admitted a student of the Inner Temple on 6 March 1685, and called to the bar on 24 May 1691. For some years Acherley was engaged in disputing the will of Thomas Vernon, who died in 1721, by...
Migration of the Echelay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Echelay or a variant listed above: Henry Ackerly, who sailed to New Haven, Connecticut in 1640. Nicholas Ackley sailed to Connecticut in 1655; and Joseph Ackerly to Philadelphia in 1865. Henry Akerly arrived in New Haven, Conn in 1640. Robert Akerly arrived in Rhode Island in 1651..