The story of the Gellay family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland
in the Medieval era. The name Gellay was derived from Giles. The surname Gellay is derived from a corruption of this personal name
. Giles is derived from the Old Scandinavian personal name
Gilli, which came to the British Isles with the Vikings
who settled in the north of England
and in Scotland
in the 9th century AD. They came to the British Isles under the leadership of Sigurd the Stout after they were dispossessed of their lands by the King of Norway.
Early Origins of the Gellay family
The surname Gellay was first found in Ayrshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland
, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest
and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Gellay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gellay research.Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1500 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Gellay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gellay Spelling Variations
Standards used to judge the accuracy of spellings and translations did not yet exist in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations
in names dating from that era, are thus, an extremely common occurrence. Gellay has been recorded as Jelly, Jellie, Jelley and others.
Early Notables of the Gellay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gellay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gellay family to the New World and Oceana
The New World was far from the oppressive regime of the old country. It was a place where there was more land than people and political and religious freedom were far easier to come by. Many Scots even got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. In recent years, interest in this heritage has been generated by Clan
societies and regular highland games in North America. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Gellay name: Hugh Jelly settled in Philadelphia in 1804; James Jelly settled in New York in 1823; Thomas Jelly, his wife Mary, and son Richard and his servants, settled in Barbados in 1678.