Hurly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Hurly family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Harley, a place-name found in Shropshire and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English words hare, which meant hare or rabbit, and leah, which meant forest clearing. The name as a whole meant "clearing with lots of rabbits." The original bearers of the name lived near or in such a clearing.

Early Origins of the Hurly family

The surname Hurly was first found in Shropshire where "it appears that Edward and Hernulf, living in the first half of the twelfth century, were lords of Harley, and the ancestors of the race who were afterwards denominated therefrom. Sixth in descent from William de Harley living in 1231 was Sir Robert de Harley." [1]

"In an ancient leiger book of the abbey of Pershore, in Worcestershire is a commemoration of a noble warrior of this name, who commanding an army under Ethelred, king of England, in his wars against Sweyn, king of Denmark, gave the Danes a great defeat near that town, about the year 1013." [2]

" Before the Conquest, Sir John de Harley was possessed of Harley Castle and lordship." The same, or another, Sir John de Harley accompanied the expedition to the Holy Land in 1098." [2]

By the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout Britain: Henry de Herley in Berkshire; and Clemens de Herleghe in Somerset. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Matilda Herlay and Willelmus Herlay. [3]

Further north in Scotland, listings of the family were found in Fife and Clackmannanshire. [4]

Early History of the Hurly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hurly research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1098, 1782, 1319, 1354, 1558, 1549, 1579, 1656, 1624, 1700, 1664, 1735, 1703, 1735, 1695, 1698, 1661, 1724, 1600, 1643, 1600, 1623, 1579 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Hurly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hurly Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Hurly include Harley, Hurley, Harrily and others.

Early Notables of the Hurly family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Hurley (known works 1319-1354), King's Master Carpenter for King Edward III; John Harley (died 1558), an English Bishop of Hereford; John Harley, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1549; Sir Robert Harley (1579-1656), an English statesman who served as Master of the Mint for Charles I; Sir Edward Harley KB (1624-1700), an English Parliamentarian, Governor of Dunkirk, born at Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire; and his son, Edward Harley (1664-1735), of Eywood, Titley, Herefordshire, Auditor of the Imprests (1703-1735)...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hurly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hurly family to Ireland

Some of the Hurly 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 Hurly migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Hurly were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Hurly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eleanor Hurly, who landed in Maryland or Virginia in 1669 [5]
  • Dennis Hurly, who arrived in Maryland in 1672 [5]
Hurly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Danll Hurly, who landed in Virginia in 1718 [5]

Canada Hurly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hurly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Joanna Hurly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Daniel Hurly, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick, Ireland
  • Daniel Hurly, aged 38, a cooper, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland
  • Mary Hurly, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Betty Hurly, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Hurly 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: Virtute et fide
Motto Translation: By valour and faith.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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)


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