Erlegh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Erlegh family have grown. The name Erlegh was given to a member of the family who was a male who was of manly character. The surname Erlegh originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Erlegh 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 Erlegh family
The surname Erlegh 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.
Important Dates for the Erlegh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erlegh research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Erlegh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Erlegh Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Erlegh family name include Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
Early Notables of the Erlegh family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Erlegh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Erlegh family to Ireland
Some of the Erlegh 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 Erlegh family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Erlegh surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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.
- ^ 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)