Hawlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hawlay arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hawlay family lived in Hawley, Somerset. The most probable derivation of this name suggests that it comes from the Old Norman word haugr, which means mound, and the Old English leah, which means clearing. Another derivation supported by some examples suggests that the name indicates tat the name is an Anglicized version of the place-name La Haule-De-Bec in Greteuil, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Hawlay family

The surname Hawlay was first found in Somerset, where Warin de Haulla is mentioned in 1154 and in 1165, he held a barony of eight fees in Devon. [2]

Later in Yorkshire, Robert de Hallai was listed in 1166. And later again, John Hally was found in the Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire in 1230. [3]

It is from this latter entry that the famed astronomer Edmund Halley (1656-1742) hailed. While he was born in London, his rich father was "a member of a good Derbyshire family, had a soap-boiling establishment in Winchester Street in the city of London." [4]

Turning the clock back again, we found the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had the following entries for the family: William de Hallee, Gloucestershire; John de Hally, Derbyshire; William de Hally, Derbyshire; and John Hally, Derbyshire. [5]

Indeed, " Derbyshire seems to be the home of the Halleys. " [5]

The same source claims the "Haleys of Yorkshire are a different stock, but I cannot identify the locality whence they are sprung." [5]

And he goes on to note that Petrus Haley, Oxfordshire was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 and that Johannes de Haylay and Willelmus Havlay were listed i the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [5]

In our opinion, making such a distinction of names that phonetically sound the same but have small spelling differences is often incongruent. Moreover, none of the other sources make this claim.

Further to the north in Scotland, the records of the family are late. "William Hally in Perth, 1666, John Hally, portioner of Balbrogo, 1700. Seventeen persons of this name are recorded in the Dunblane Commissariot Record from 1602. " [6]

But this same authority postulates that the name may also be "from Hailey in Deerness, Orkney. Thomas Halle, tacksman there, 1509." [6]

Early History of the Hawlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hawlay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1340, 1350, 1408, 1374, 1401, 1390, 1393, 1394, 1402, 1404, 1603, 1690, 1629, 1650, 1645, 1716, 1695, 1702, 1646, 1644, 1684, 1673, 1743, 1772, 1719, 1790, 1790, 1656, 1742, 1656 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Hawlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hawlay Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Hawley, Hawly and others.

Early Notables of the Hawlay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Hawley (Hauley) (c.1340 or 1350-1408), Mayor of Dartmouth on fourteen occasions between 1374 and 1401 and elected MP for Dartmouth in 1390, 1393, 1394, and 1402, both a merchant and licensed privateer, conducted a number of naval operations in the English Channel and briefly held the post of deputy to the Admiral of England under Henry IV, organized the defense of Dartmouth in 1404 against an attack by a Breton fleet, which culminated in the battle of Blackpool Sands; Joseph Hawley (1603-1690), born in Parwich, Derbyshire, first settler of the surname in...
Another 165 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hawlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hawlay family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Hawlay or a variant listed above: Henry Hawley settled in Barbados in 1678 with his wife Jane; Mathew Hawley settled in Hingham Massachusetts in 1630; Gerome Hawley settled in Maryland in 1634.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ 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)


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