Show ContentsIllsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Illsley surname is a habitational name taken on from the villages of East and West Ilsley on the Berkshire Downs. These place names are derived from the Old English words "hild," meaning "strife," or "battle," and " le-ah," which is a clearing in the woods.

Early Origins of the Illsley family

The surname Illsley was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Illsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Illsley research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Illsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Illsley Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Illsley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Illsley include: Illsley, Illsbey, Ilsley and others.

Early Notables of the Illsley family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • Illsley of Hillsley

United States Illsley migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Illsley or a variant listed above:

Illsley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Randall Illsley, who arrived in New York State in 1775

Australia Illsley migration to Australia +

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

Illsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Edward Illsley, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 1

Contemporary Notables of the name Illsley (post 1700) +

  • Mr. Christopher Paul Illsley B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to charity in Lincolnshire 2

  1. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 4th March 2021 from
  2. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook