Gailey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Gailey. It was given to a person who was known for their cheerful personality and their jovial disposition. The surname Gailey was originally derived form the Old English word gal, which described a person as being pleasant and merry. [1]

Early Origins of the Gailey family

The surname Gailey was first found in Yorkshire where the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johanna del Gaylle; Agnes del Gaylle; Johannes del Gayle; and Willelmus Gayle as all holding lands there at that time. [2]

One source claims the name is a "Scottish Highlander," [3] and in Scotland, "strangers to the Gadhelic people were called Gall, and this gave rise to surnames such as Gauld, Gall, and the Lowland Galt. Gall in the common speech was pronounced 'Gaw.' A rather common surname in Perth and especially in the Muirton of Balhousie during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. John Gal was witness to a grant to the Blackfriars of Perth in 1334." [4]

Early History of the Gailey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gailey research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1546, 1596, 1597, 1628, 1678, 1635, 1702, 1671, 1701, 1680, 1721, 1647, 1721, 1670, 1735 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Gailey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gailey Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Gailey has appeared include Gale, Gail, Gaile, Gales and others.

Early Notables of the Gailey family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include George Gale, Mayor of York; Dunstan Gale ( fl. 1596), an English poet, author of a poem entitled 'Pyramus and Thisbe,' supposed to have been printed for the first time in 1597. [5] Theophilus Gale (1628-1678), was an English educationalist, nonconformist and theologian of dissent from Kingsteignton, Devon; Thomas Gale (1635?-1702), an English classical scholar, antiquarian and cleric from Scruton, Yorkshire; Mildred Gale (1671-1701), born Mildred Warner in the Colony of Virginia, paternal grandmother of President George Washington; and John Gale (1680-1721), an English Baptist theologian; and his son...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gailey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gailey migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Gailey arrived in North America very early:

Gailey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Gailey, aged 55, originally from Donegal, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "City of Rome" from Londonderry, Ireland [6]
  • Mrs. Gailey, aged 40, arrived in New York in 1894 aboard the ship "Furnessia" from Glasgow, Scotland [7]
Gailey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Gailey, aged 20, originally from Glasgow, Scotland, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Glasgow, Scotland [8]
  • William Walker Gailey, aged 19, originally from Belfast, Ireland, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Adriatic" from Southampton, England [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gailey (post 1700) +

  • Francis "Frank" Gailey (1882-1972), American three-time silver medalist freestyle swimmer at the 1904 Summer Olympics [10]
  • Thomas Chandler Gailey Jr. (b. 1952), American NFL professional and college football coach
  • Major-General Charles Kenon Gailey Jr. (1901-1966), American Chief of the Office of Civil Affairs, Department of the Army (1959) [11]
  • Thomas Chandler Gailey, American politician, Mayor of Americus, Georgia, 1991-93 [12]
  • Mark Gailey, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 6th District, 2002, 2004 [12]
  • Doug Gailey (d. 2007), New Zealand former rugby league player


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6BD-VMX : 6 December 2014), Cath. Gailey, 24 Jun 1893; citing departure port Londonderry, arrival port New York, ship name City of Rome, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXM7-Y3F : 6 December 2014), Mrs. Gailey, 09 Jul 1894; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Furnessia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J68S-VTY : 6 December 2014), William Gailey, 05 Oct 1920; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Columbia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J662-WMK : 6 December 2014), William Walker Gailey, 16 Apr 1920; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Adriatic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2013, April 29) Francis Gailey. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=57381
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 5) Charles Gailey. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gailey/Charles_Kenon_Jr./USA.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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