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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Murley family come from? What is the English Murley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Murley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Murley family history?

The Murley name is habitational, derived from any of the several places so named; such as Morley in Cheshire, Derbyshire, County Durham, Norfolk, and West Yorkshire, and Moreleigh in Devon. These place names come from the Old English words "mor," meaning "marsh" and "le-ah," meaning "a clearing in the woods."

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Murley include Morley, Mawley, Morely, Moorley, Maughley, Morleigh, Moorley and many more.

First found in Debyshire at Morley, a parish, in the union of Belper, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch. "In Domesday Survey this place is described as one of the manors of Henry de Ferrers. In 1235 the manors of Morley and Smalley were held by the abbot of Chester as of the fee of Hugh, Earl of Chester; and Morley was afterwards held by a family who took their name from the place." [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murley research. Another 427 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1477, 1455, 1487, 1510, 1600, 1483, 1557, 1602, 1586, 1658, 1625, 1640, 1597, 1684, 1660, 1662, 1662, 1684, 1660, 1616, 1667, 1640 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Murley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 177 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Murley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Murley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Murley, who settled in New York, NY in 1820

Murley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Murley, who arrived in Ontario in 1871

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  • Matt Murley (b. 1979), American NHL professional ice hockey forward
  • Mr. D Murley, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mike Murley, Canadian jazz musician


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Murley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Murley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 February 2016 at 16:13.

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