Isley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Isley name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived on an island. The surname Isley is derived from the Old French word isle, which means island and has become the modern French word île. The surname Isley 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 Isley may also be a patronymic surname derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal names Æl or Æthel.

Early Origins of the Isley family

The surname Isley 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 Isley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Isley 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 Isley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Isley Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Isley were recorded, including Eyles, Eeles, Eels, Eylers and others.

Early Notables of the Isley 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 of England; and his son, Sir John Eyles, 2nd Baronet (1683-1745) of Gidea Hall, Essex, a British financier. He served as a director of the Bank of...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Isley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Isley migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Isley family emigrate to North America:

Isley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Isley, who landed in Iowa in 1884 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Isley (post 1700) +

  • Vernon Isley (1942-1955), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • Rudolph Isley (b. 1939), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • Ronald Isley (b. 1941), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • O'Kelly Isley Jr. (1937-1986), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • Marvin Isley (1953-2010), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • Ernie Isley (b. 1952), American musician and member of The Isley Brothers
  • Phyllis Isley (1919-2009), birth name of Jennifer Jones, American Academy Award winning actress
  • Ernie Isley, Canadian politician


  1. ^ 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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