Erlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Erlay was formed many centuries ago by the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name typically given to a male who was of manly character. The surname Erlay originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Erlay 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 Erlay family
The surname Erlay 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 Erlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erlay research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Erlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Erlay Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Erlay include Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
Early Notables of the Erlay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Erlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Erlay family to Ireland
Some of the Erlay 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 Erlay family
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: 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)