Hillay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Hillay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Hillay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hillay family lived near or on a hill. Hillay, which was extremely popular and widely distributed in England, is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently. The name was originally derived from the Old English hyll, which simply meant hill or dweller by the hill. 
Early Origins of the Hillay family
The surname Hillay was first found in Worcestershire, where one line is descended from the De Montes of Castlemorton in Worcestershire. The manor of Hillend in Castlemorton, Worcester was likely built on land held by Odo de Monte, or Hill, in 1238-9. Richard Hill of Castlemorton is mentioned in 1383 and John Hill of Castlemorton in 1408-9. John Hill died about 1623 holding a "messuage" at Hillend, which then passed to his son Thomas.
Other early records of the name include Gilbert del Hill, who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1191; William "attehil" (literally at the hill,) who was listed in 1260 in the Assize Rolls of Cornwall, and Simon Hille who was listed in the Rotuli Hundredorum for Worcestershire of 1273. 
Again in Cornwall, "the rectory of St. Keverne, which had been appropriated to the priory of Beaulieu in Hampshire, was afterward for many years in the family of Hill. About the middle of the last century, the great tithes were sold by this family to the occupiers of the several estates, for a term of 999 years." 
Scotland was another ancient homeland for the family. In this case, the first record was William de la Hyll, son of Waldeve son of Aldewyn, who resigned lands in Mydilham in 1271. William o' the Hill rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296 and in 1321 William de le Hille was received to the king of England's peace." It was Richard de Hulle (Hill), 'a varlette of Scotland,' who 'stikked and killed' Catarine Mortimer, 'a damoisel of London,' one of the inmates of the harem of David II in 1360." 
Early History of the Hillay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hillay research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1484, 1484, 1549, 1601, 1602, 1271, 1597, 1727, 1589, 1657, 1628, 1629, 1605, 1667, 1672, 1699, 1692, 1695, 1694, 1734, 1735, 1685, 1750, 1736, 1749, 1711, 1663, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Hillay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hillay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Hill, Hille, Hyll, Hills and others.
Early Notables of the Hillay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include John Hill (1589-1657), an English merchant and politician, Member of Parliament for Dorchester (1628-1629); Roger Hill (1605-1667), of Poundsford, Somerset, an English judge and Member of Parliament; Michael Hill (1672-1699), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Saltash (1692-1695), appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland in 1694; James Hill (died 1734), an English master mason in Cheltenham...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hillay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hillay family to Ireland
Some of the Hillay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hillay family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Hillay name or one of its variants: Edward Hill, who settled in Virginia in 1623; Joan Hill, who immigrated to St. Christopher in 1635; Henry Hill, who came to Bermuda in 1635; John Hill, who settled in Barbados in 1654.
Related Stories +
The Hillay 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 Translation: Advance.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ 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)