Erley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The earliest origins of the Erley surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name reveals that an early member was a male who was of manly character. The surname Erley originally derived from the Old English word Eorlic which referred to one who displayed manly characteristics. The surname Erley 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 Erley family
The surname Erley 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 Erley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erley research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Erley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Erley 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 Erley 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 Erley include: Early, Erlegh, Erlee, Erly, Earley, Erle, Erley, Arlie and many more.
Early Notables of the Erley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Erley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Erley family to Ireland
Some of the Erley 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 Erley 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 Erley or a variant listed above: 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)