Hamlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Hamlay family
The surname Hamlay was first found in Cornwall where "Hambly is an old name of the 17th century in the parishes of St. Breward, Egloshayle, and Bodmin; in the last two localities it is still represented."  "Hamley and Hambly are fairly common surnames in Cornwall." 
"Treblethick [in the parish of St. Mabyn, Cornwall] was the seat of the Hamleys, in which family it had been for many preceding generations. But not long afterwards it became the property of Treise, from whom it passed with other estates of this family on the death of Sir Christopher Treise." 
The prevalence for Cornish roots is undeniable, but we will include another source's understanding of the name.
"The name, is apparently from Hamly Bridge in Chiddingly (Sussex), though the surname is now associated mainly with Devon and Cornwall. " 
Other early records of the family include: Henry de Hambelegh, 1296 in Subsidy Rolls (Sussex); John de Hamelee, 1305 in London Letter Books; Osbert Hameley, 1361 in Feet of Fines (Wiltshire); John Hamely, 1399 in Feet of Fines (Northants, Surrey); Agnes Hamblie, 1554 in IGI (Saint Columb, Cornwall); and Diggory Hamley, 1718 in IGI (Stoke Damerel, Devon). 
Early History of the Hamlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hamlay research. Another 26 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1637, 1717, 1760 and 1837 are included under the topic Early Hamlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hamlay Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Hambley, Hambly, Hamley, Hamby and others.
Early Notables of the Hamlay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was William Hamley, born in Bodmin, Cornwall, founder of what is today known as Hamleys, one of the largest toy stores in the world. He originally founded a toy shop called "Noah's Ark"...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hamlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hamlay family
A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Hamlay: William Hambly arrived in San Francisco in 1852; John Hamble settled Pennsylvania in 1773; William Hamly settled in Philadelphia in 1854.
Related Stories +
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)