Show ContentsGalley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Galley follows a line reaching back through history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It was a name for someone who worked as a galley-man. One source notes that these people were "rowers" [1] while another notes that "these were commonly called gallie-men, as men that came up in the gallies, who brought up wines and other merchandizes, which they landed in Thames-strete, at a place called Galley- key." [2]

Early Origins of the Galley family

The surname Galley was first found in Yorkshire where Henry Galye was first listed in the Assize Rolls of 1219. Years later, Adam del Galay was listed in 1304. [1]

Early History of the Galley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galley research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1304, 1696, 1769, 1696, 1714, 1717, 1721 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Galley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galley Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Galley were recorded, including Galley, Gallie, Gally, Galey, Gally and others.

Early Notables of the Galley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Gally (1696-1769), English divine and classical scholar, son of the Rev. Peter Gally, a French Protestant refugee, was born at Beckenham, Kent, in August 1696. He was admitted a pensioner of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, under the tuition of Mr. Fawcett...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Galley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Galley migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Galley family emigrate to North America:

Galley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Galley purchased land in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637
  • William Galley, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Edward Galley, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [3]
Galley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Galley, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [3]
  • Daniel Galley, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1772
Galley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Galley, who landed in New York in 1801 [3]
  • William Galley, who arrived in New York in 1801 [3]
  • James Galley, who landed in America in 1807 [3]
  • John Galley, who arrived in New York in 1813 [3]
  • Joseph Galley, who settled in New Orleans in 1822
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Galley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Galley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Philip Galley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Galley migration to Australia +

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

Galley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Galley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Spartan" in 1849 [4]

New Zealand Galley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Galley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Henry Galley, British settler travelling from London, UK with 1 child aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [5]

West Indies Galley migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Galley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Tho Galley, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [3]
  • Mr. Thomas Galley, aged 20 who arrived in St. Kitts (St Christopher) aboard the ship "Amity" in 1635 [7]
  • Thomas Galley landed on the island of St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1637
  • John Galley, who settled in Barbados in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Galley (post 1700) +

  • Robert A Galley, scientist and Director of Shell Research in Kent

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. 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)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SPARTAN 1849. Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved January 6th 2023 from on Facebook