The ancestors of the bearers of the Islay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found on an island. The surname Islay is derived from the Old French word isle,
which means island
and has become the modern French word île.
The surname Islay belongs to the class of topographic
surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. However, the name Islay may also be a patronymic
surname derived from the Anglo-Saxon
personal names Æl
Early Origins of the Islay family
The surname Islay
was first found in Somerset
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 Islay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Islay
research.Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1338, 1688, 1716, 1703, 1679, 1716, 1683, 1745, 1713, 1727, 1727, 1734, 1679, 1735, 1715 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Islay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Islay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Islay
include Eyles, Eeles, Eels, Eylers and others.
Early Notables of the Islay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir John Eyles, Lord Mayor of London; John Eyles (died 1703), of Great St. Helens, London and Southbroom, near Devizes, Wiltshire
, an English politician, Member of the Parliament for Devizes in 1679; Sir Francis Eyles, 1st Baronet
(died 1716), Governor of the Bank... Another 104 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Islay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Islay family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Islay
or a variant listed above: John Eels who purchased land in New England
in 1620. William Eels landed in Virginia in 1739. George Eyles made his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1754. Other Eyles family members settled in Pennsylvania in later years..
Islay Family Crest Products