Galey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Galey can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a name for a galleyman or rower. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly common in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith, and wright. Similarly, surnames of office, which include military, judicial, papal and other positions of authority, are widespread throughout Europe. Those who were involved in the military, or feudal armies, were given names such as the English surname Archer, the French name Chevalier and the German name Jeger, which means hunter. Names that were derived from judicial and papal titles, such as Bailiffe, Squire and Abbott, are still commonly seen with the same surname spelling today.

Early Origins of the Galey family

The surname Galey was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times.

Important Dates for the Galey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galey research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the year 1304 is included under the topic Early Galey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galey Spelling Variations

Galey has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Galey have been found, including Galley, Gallie, Gally, Galey, Gally and others.

Early Notables of the Galey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Galey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galey migration to the United States

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Galeys to arrive on North American shores:

Galey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Galey in Virginia in 1650
  • Thomas Galey, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [1]
Galey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Galey, who arrived in America in 1760 [1]
  • John Galey, who settled in America in 1762
Galey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Galey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • Wister Galey, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • Anne Galey, who arrived in New York NY in 1816 [1]
  • Eliza Galey, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Oliver Galey in Pennsylvania in 1844

Galey migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Galey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Galey, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Isaac Galey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Mary Ann Galey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Thomas Galey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Elizabeth Galey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Galey (post 1700)

  • Erin Galey, American producer, known for her work on Sahasi Chori (2013), Girltrash: All Night Long (2014) and Frankincense & Myrrh (2012)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1840. Retrieved from
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