Gleig History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Gleig come from when the family resided in the region of Clegg in Rochdale in the county of Lancashire. In some cases, this name was derived from the Gaelic MacLiagh, meaning "son of the physician." One source claims that the name was "Old Norse, kleggi, a compact mass. There was a Northman with this surname in the Landnamabok." [1]

Early Origins of the Gleig family

The surname Gleig was first found in Lancashire where "almost all our Cleggs hail from Clegg, or Clegg Hall, in the parish of Rochdale." [2] "Clegg was the name of a very ancient family of Clegg Hall near Rochdale; but the estate passed out of the family by marriage in the reign of Edward VI. The name is common in the Rochdale registers of the 16th century, and it is still in the town." [3]

Early rolls revealed: Nicholas de Clegg and Mathew de Clegg in Lancashire in 1360. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Ricardus de Cleghe and Henricus de Cloghe. Much later, the Wills of Chester list Thomas Clegg as a tanner in Middleton, Lancashire in 1581 and the same listing included Arthur Clegg, of Fieldhouse in the parish of Rochdale in 1608. [2]

Early History of the Gleig family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gleig research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1679, 1755, 1702, 1714, 1746, 1723, 1743, 1744, 1744, 1746 and are included under the topic Early Gleig History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gleig Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Gleig has been recorded under many different variations, including Clegg, Clegge, Cleg, Claig, Claigg, Claige, Cleig, Cleigg, Clegges, Clegs, Cllege, Cleagg, Cleagge and many more.

Early Notables of the Gleig family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include James Clegg, M.D. (1679-1755), a Presbyterian minister and author from Rochdale, Lancashire. "He was educated by the Rev. Richard Frankland at...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gleig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gleig family to Ireland

Some of the Gleig family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 279 words (20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gleig family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gleig or a variant listed above: John Clegg who settled at Pennaquid, Maine in the year 1687; and Thomas Clegg, his son, was recorded later. Alfred, David, Edward, Francis, George, Henry, Isaac, James, Joseph, Nathaniel, Robert, Samuel, and Thomas Clegg, all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1820 and 1869.


Contemporary Notables of the name Gleig (post 1700) +

  • George Robert Gleig (1796-1888), Scottish chaplain-general of the forces, son of George Gleig [q. v.], Bishop of Brechin, born at Stirling 20 April 1796 [4]
  • George Gleig (1753-1840), Scottish Bishop of Brechin who came of a family of Scotch episcopalians, which had adhered to the house of Stuart and suffered for it [4]


The Gleig 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: Qui potest capere capiat
Motto Translation: Let him take who can take.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


Houseofnames.com on Facebook