The Grellay surname was most likely originally created from a place name. There is a Gresley in Derbyshire
and a Greasley in Nottinghamshire
, both of which became habitation surnames. The two place names are in turn derived from the Old English "greosn," or "gravel," and "leah," meaning a "wood" or "clearing."
Early Origins of the Grellay family
The surname Grellay was first found in Derbyshire
at Church Gresley or Castle Gresley which date back to c. 1125 when the were collectively listed as Gresele. Later years saw the place name evolve to Castelgresele in 1252 and later as Churchegreseleye in 1363. It is generally thought that the root Gresley was derived from the Old English word "greosn," which meant "gravel." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
As far as the surname goes, the Topographer of 1789 states "In point of stationary antiquity hardly any families in the kingdom can compare with the Gresleys." They are the only family in the county that trace back "to the house of Drakelow; descended from Nigel, mentioned in the Domesday, called de Stafford, and said to have been a younger son of Roger de Toni, standard-bearer in Normandy, it was very soon after the Conquest established in Derbyshire, first at Gresley, and immediately afterwards at Drakelow, in the same parish." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
One of the first records of the name was Sir Thomas de Grelly, who was knighted by King Edward 1st in 1306, and later Baron Gresly who was summoned to Parliament in 1308.
"The manor of 'Lulletune' [Lullington, Derbyshire] was in the Gresley family, in the reign of Edward I.; and the church was given by that family to the priory of Gresley, in the reign of Edward II." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Childwall Manor in Lancashire "was given to Albert Grelley, Baron of Manchester, and in his successors the superior lordship of the manor continued to be vested. It is recorded among the members of the barony down to 1473. In 1306 Thomas Grelley demanded against Adam de Ireland and Avina his wife two messuages and an oxgang of land in Garston." CITATION[CLOSE]
'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
Early History of the Grellay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grellay research.Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1208, 1513, 1603, 1308, 1206, 1254, 1615 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Grellay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Grellay Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations
are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Grellay has been recorded under many different variations, including Greasley, Gresley, Grysley, Grisle, Grysely, Grisley, Grelly, Gresly, Greseley, Greiseley, Grelley and many more.
Early Notables of the Grellay family (pre 1700)
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grellay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Grellay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England
, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Grellays were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Jeffery Gresley, who arrived in Virginia in 1791; as well as Philip J Greaseley, who was naturalized in Fairfield Co. Ohio in 1833.