Gadlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Gadlay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Hadleigh or Hadley, a place-name found in numerous locations in England. The root of these names is common, however; they are all derived from the Old English roots hæth and leah, which taken together mean "forest clearing where the heather grows." 
Early Origins of the Gadlay family
The surname Gadlay was first found in Essex at Hadleigh, a parish, in the union and hundred of Rochford. 
Over in Suffolk, Hadleigh was a market-town and parish, in the union and hundred of Cosford. "This town, which was probably founded during the heptarchy, about which period a monastery is said to have been established by one of the Saxon kings, was called by the Anglo-Saxons Headlege, whence it derived its modern name. Some of the kings of East Anglia were interred here; as also was Guthrum, or Gormo, a Danish chief, who submitted to Alfred the Great, and renounced paganism after the defeat of the Danes at the battle of Ethandune, now Eddington, in the county of Wilts: a tomb is still shown in the church as the monument of Guthrum (who died in 889)" 
"In Essex and Suffolk I find two parishes of Hadleigh, and in Middlesex a parish Hadley."  Another source notes: "Hædleáh in an Anglo-Saxon will of the 10th century." 
The first record of the family was indeed found in Suffolk. Matilda de Hadlega was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1194. Warin de Hadlai was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1212 and John Hadley was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1390. 
Early History of the Gadlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gadlay research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1194, 1379, 1685, 1768, 1682, 1744, 1730 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Gadlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gadlay 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 Gadlay 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. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Gadlay include: Hadley, Hadleigh and others.
Early Notables of the Gadlay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include George Hadley (1685-1768), an English lawyer and amateur meteorologist, epoymn of the Hadley cell and The Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change
John Hadley (1682-1744), was an English mathematician, inventor of the octant and precursor to the sextant around...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gadlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gadlay 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 Gadlay or a variant listed above: George Hadley settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; David and John Hadley settled in Virginia in 1772; Martha Hadley arrived in Maryland in 1736; Mrs. R. Hadley arrived in San Francisco with her child in 1860..
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)