Glassey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Glassey is a nickname for a person with gray hair. The surname Glass is derived from the Gaelic word glas, which means gray, however, it may also be a shortened Anglicized form of the surname MacGille Glais, which means son of the gray lad. [1]

In England, the name is an occupational name for "one who made or sold glassware." [2]

Early Origins of the Glassey family

The surname Glassey was first found in Buteshire (Gaelic Siorrachd Bhòid), an island region of western Scotland within the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute. Glass is a "parish, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifying "grey," is descriptive of the uncultivated portion of its surface, is about eight miles in extreme length, and five miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of nearly 19,000 acres." [3]

Early records of the family are very scarce. The name is thought to be "a shortened form of Mac Gille glais [who were] families locally called barons from the fifteenth century till recently. In 1506 there is record of a grant of half the lands of Langilculcreich in Bute to Alexander Glass. The name is also in record in Perth in 1674, and fifteen of the name are recorded in the Commissariot Record of Dunblane from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century." [4]

Much father to the south in Devon, England "the present home of the name of Glass in this county is in the Exbourne district. Nicholas Glass was the name of the mayor of Barnstaple in 1787 and 1804. Glass was the name of two Tiverton churchwardens in 1723 and 1724. The name is also established in Wiltshire." [5]

Early History of the Glassey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Glassey research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1652, 1674, 1695, 1773, 1724, 1695, 1773 and are included under the topic Early Glassey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Glassey Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Glassey has appeared as Glass, Glas, MacGilleglas, Glasse and others.

Early Notables of the Glassey family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Glas (1695-1773), Scottish sectary, only son of Alexander Glas (d. 1724), minister of Auchtermuchty, Fifeshire, afterwards of Kinclaven, Perthshire. He was born at Auchtermuchty on 21 Sept. 1695. "Glas was of even and cheerful disposition, in company free from professional stiffness, and not without a sense of humour. ‘I too can be grave at times,’...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Glassey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Glassey family to Ireland

Some of the Glassey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Glassey migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Glassey or a variant listed above include:

Glassey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Glassey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [6]
  • Robert Glassey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [6]

New Zealand Glassey 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:

Glassey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah A. Glassey, (b. 1841), aged 22, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [7]
  • Miss Tabitha Glassey, (b. 1846), aged 19, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [7]
  • Miss Ellen Glassey, (b. 1848), aged 17, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Glassey (post 1700) +

  • Frank P. S. Glassey, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Helsingfors, 1922-25; Prague, 1926-29 [8]
  • Robert John "Bob" Glassey (1914-1984), English footballer from Chester-le-Street, England
  • Alec Ewart Glassey (1887-1970), British Liberal politician, Member of the United Kingdom Parliament for East Dorset (1929-1931)
  • Thomas Glassey (1844-1936), Irish-born Australian politician, Senator for Queensland (1901-1903)


The Glassey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Luctor
Motto Translation: I struggle, but am not overwhelmed.


  1. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate