Horseley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Horseley family

The surname Horseley was first found in Northumberland at Horsley, a township, in the parish of Ovingham, about 9 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There is also a parish named Horsley, in Gloucestershire and another parish, so named in Derbyshire.

"In the reign of Henry III., Malveysin de Hercy, doubtless a descendant of the Hercy, of the Battle Roll, was Constable of Tykhill. He acquired by his marriage with Theophania, daughter and coheir of Gilbert de Arches, the estate of Grove, Nottinghamshire, and became ancestor of the Hercys of that place; and also of the Hercys of Cruchfield, Berkshire, now represented by John Hercy, Esq. of Cruchfield." [1]

The parish of Horsey-next-the-Sea in Norfolk is another likely source of the name [2] [3]

The name is derived from the Old English words "hors" + "leah," and literally means "clearing or pasture where horses are kept." [4] The parishes in Derbyshire and Gloucestershire were both listed as Horselei in the Domesday Book in 1086. [5]

At one time the family held a manor in Long Horsley. "The manor was at an early period the property of the Merlays; after them the Greystocks held it; and the Horsleys possessed lands here from an early period, till their heiress married into the family of Widdrington." [6]

Some of the first records of the family include: William de Horseia who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Hampshire in 1182; William de Horseye, found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1268 and John atte Horsee, listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Surrey in 1332. [2]

Thomas de Horseye was Bailiff of Yarmouth in 1269 [7] and the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Alicia de Horsey, Norfolk; and Mathew de Horseye, Norfolk. [8]

In Somerset, John de Horsy was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [9]

In Scotland, the Horsley variant was prevalent as in "Richard de Horsleye of the county of Lanark, who rendered homage in 1296 most probably derived his surname from Horsley in Northumberland. The lands of the Horsselys in Lanarkshire are recorded as forfeited in 1369." [10]

Early History of the Horseley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horseley research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1546, 1583, 1573, 1627, 1547, 1550 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Horseley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Horseley Spelling Variations

Although the name, Horseley, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Horsley, Horsey, de Horsey, O'Horsey and others.

Early Notables of the Horseley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Sir John Horsey (died 1546), knight of Henry VIII and Lord of the Manor of Clifton Maubank. Sir Edward Horsey (d. 1583), was a naval and military commander, a member of a family of considerable note in Dorsetshire, connected with Clifton Maubank (now Maybank), Wyke in Sherborne, and Melcombe Horsey, was the son of Jasper Horsey of Exton, who was brother of Sir John Horsey. [11] Sir Jerome Horsey (fl. 1573-1627), was an English traveller, son of...
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Horseley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Horseley family to Ireland

Some of the Horseley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Horseley migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Horseley family name Horseley, or who bore a variation of the surname were

Horseley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Horseley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [12]

Australia Horseley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Horseley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Horseley, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [13]

New Zealand Horseley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Horseley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Horseley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [14]
  • Mr. Horseley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [14]
  • Mrs. Horseley, British settler travelling from London with 2 children aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [14]


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  8. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  9. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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