Gurley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gurley family

The surname Gurley was first found in Lothian, where "Ingelram de Gourlay is believed to have accompanied William the Lion from England in 1174, and witnesses one of his charters about 1200." [1]

Another source notes a Latin version of the forename (Ingelramus) and adds he "held land in Clydesdale and in Lothian. His son, Hugh de Gerley, possessed lands in Fife and Lothians, and some time after 1180 witnessed a charter by Ingelram de Balliol of the church of Inuerkileder to Abbey of Arnbroath. A later lngeramus Gerle was witness, 1244, Hugh Gurle and William Gerle were present at a conference at Roxbergh, 1254, and William, son of William Gerlay, made a gift to Abbey of Newbattle, 1293. " [2]

The invasion by King Edward I of England in 1296 forced many to either "render homage" to the king or lose their lands, frequently dying by the sword. "Several of the name rendered homage in 1296, viz. Roger Gourlay, William de Gurleye, Huwe de Gerleghe, and Patrick de Gerleghe, parson of the church of Loghorwerde, all four of the county of Edinbergh (Bain, II, p. 208). Adam de Gurle of Roxburghe also rendered homage, and as Adam de Goerlay appears as witness at Roxburgh, 1304." [2]

Early History of the Gurley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gurley research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1300, 1320, 1303, 1435, 1328, 1330, 1380, 1392, 1395, 1529, 1546 and are included under the topic Early Gurley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gurley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gourlay, Gurley, Gourley, Gourlie and others.

Early Notables of the Gurley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gurley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gurley Ranking

In the United States, the name Gurley is the 2,808th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Gurley family to Ireland

Some of the Gurley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gurley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gurley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Gurley, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [4]
  • John Gurley, who arrived in Maryland in 1680 [4]
  • William Gurley, who arrived in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1685 [4]
Gurley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • M. Gurley, aged 30, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1892
  • Rose Gurley, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States from England, in 1892
  • S. Gurley, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1892
  • F. W. Gurley, aged 42, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Frank Gurley, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1894
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gurley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Gurley, aged 29, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Edith Mary Gurley, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1903
  • E. Randolph Gurley, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Ella Gurley, aged 23, who immigrated to America, in 1907
  • Eva T. Gurley, aged 57, who landed in America, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gurley (post 1700) +

  • Richard Gurley (1899-1980), American inventor
  • Sheddrick Tobias "Buck" Gurley (b. 1978), former American college and professional football player
  • Zenas Hovey Gurley Sr. (1801-1871), important American leader in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement
  • Henry Hosford Gurley (1788-1833), member of the U. S. House of Representatives
  • John Addison Gurley (1813-1863), U.S. Congressman from Ohio
  • Fred G. Gurley (1889-1976), American president and executive committee chairman of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
  • James Gurley (1939-2009), American musician
  • Michael Gurley, American musician
  • Frank Gurley, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 1st District, 1942 [5]
  • Dorothy Gurley, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1952 [5]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Jesse Herbert Gurley, American Storekeeper Third Class from Illinois, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [6]


The Gurley 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: Profunda cernit
Motto Translation: He comprehends profound things.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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