Show ContentsHammerslay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Hammerslay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the village of Hammersley, in the county of Staffordshire. The surname Hammerslay was originally derived from the Old English word hamm, which means flat, low-lying land and the Old English word ley, which refers to a wood clearing or grove.

Early Origins of the Hammerslay family

The surname Hammerslay was first found in Staffordshire at Hammersley, "a locality probably to be found in Staffordshire." [1] We can find no record of this village today, but there is no doubt some or all of the family came from Staffordshire. By example, the Register of the University of Oxford list Walter Hamersley, in 1610 and William Hamersly in 1617 as both being from Staffordshire [1] Evidence of the family was also found at Kencott in Oxfordshire. It was here that "the family of Hammersley: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1767." [2]

Early History of the Hammerslay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hammerslay research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1687 and 1801 are included under the topic Early Hammerslay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hammerslay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Hammerslay include Hammersley, Hammersly and others.

Early Notables of the Hammerslay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Hammerslay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Hammerslay or a variant listed above: Anne Hammersley settled in Virginia in 1732; Edward Hammersley and George arrived in Philadelphia in 1846; T.W. Hammersley arrived in San Francisco in 1852..

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook