The ancestors of the bearers of the Emslay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found in Yorkshire
, where they derived the family name from Helmsley. It was in the West Riding of Yorkshire, but has been lost to modern maps. The place-name was probably derived from the Old English personal name Helm,
which were Old English words for "a clearing in the woods." The translation of the place-name was "clearing belonging to Helm." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early Origins of the Emslay family
The surname Emslay was first found in Yorkshire
at Helmsley, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the wapentake
of Ryedale. The town dates back to the time of Richard I. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
The Domesday Book
of 1086 lists the town as Elmeslac. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Helmsley Castle (also known anciently as Hamlake) is a medieval castle originally constructed in wood around 1120 by Walter l'Espec (died 1153.)
Early History of the Emslay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Emslay research.Another 275 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Emslay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Emslay 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 Emslay include Elmslie, Elmsley, Emsley, Elmesley, Helmsley, Emesley, Emesly, Ernele and many more.
Early Notables of the Emslay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Emslay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Emslay family to the New World and Oceana
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 Emslay or a variant listed above: Joseph Emsley, who settled in Philadelphia in 1864; John Emsley, who settled in Delaware in 1850; J.J. Emslie, who settled in San Francisco in 1853; Alexander Elmslie, who settled in Philadelphia in 1802.
The Emslay Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Prenez garde
Motto Translation: Take care.