Jelley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the name Jelley come from the Viking settlers of ancient Scotland. The name was derived from Giles. "In the Scottish dialect jelly means worthy, upright." [1]

The surname Jelley is derived from a corruption of this personal name. Giles is derived from the Old Scandinavian personal name Gilli, which came to the British Isles with the Vikings who settled in the north of England and in Scotland in the 9th century AD. They came to the British Isles under the leadership of Sigurd the Stout after they were dispossessed of their lands by the King of Norway.

Early Origins of the Jelley family

The surname Jelley was first found in Ayrshire where early record show Thomas Jelle held a tenement in 1518. Later, William Jellie is recorded in Cruikens, parish of Carnwath, 1673 and Andrew Jellie and his wife were residents in the parish of Borgue, 1684. [2]

Further to the south in England, we found Thomas Jely listed in Essex in 1472; Robert Jely in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1524 and John Jelleye and Richard Gellye in Surrey in 1583. [3]

Early History of the Jelley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jelley research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1673, 1592, 1593, 1621, 1663 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Jelley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jelley Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes most often spelled names by the way they sounded. spelling variations, are thus, very common in records dating from that time. Over the years, Jelley has been spelled Jelly, Jellie, Jelley and others.

Early Notables of the Jelley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Jelley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Jelley migration to the United States +

The Scottish settlers spread out along the fertile land of the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. They and many of their children went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. That heritage has been recovered by many in this century through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Archival documents indicate that members of the Jelley family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Jelley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • C. S. Jelley, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Fred Allen Jelley, aged 45, who landed in America from Brighton, England, in 1907
  • George Jelley, aged 78, who immigrated to the United States from Marke Harborough, England, in 1908
  • Hannah Jelley, aged 40, who settled in America from Eccles, England, in 1910
  • Henry Jelley, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States from Upton Park, London, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Jelley migration to Australia +

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

Jelley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Lydia Jelley who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Jelley 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:

Jelley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Jelley, (b. 1840), aged 33, English bootmaker from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • Mrs. Louisa Jelley née Atkins, (b. 1845), aged 28, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • Mr. Albert Edward Jelley, (b. 1866), aged 8, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • Miss Kezia Jelley, (b. 1869), aged 5, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • Miss Louisa Jelley, (b. 1872), aged 2, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jelley (post 1700) +

  • Thomas J. "Tom" Jelley (b. 1926), former American football defensive end who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1951
  • James Jelley (1873-1954), Australian politician and trade unionist
  • David Jelley MLC. (1871-1907), South Australian trades unionist, older brother of James Jelley
  • James Valentine "J.V." Jelley (1856-1950), English artist
  • Albert Jelley (1894-1966), New Zealand cricket umpire who stood in one Test match, New Zealand vs. West Indies, in 1956
  • Stephen Jelley (b. 1982), British auto racing driver

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley A Jelley (b. 1923), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Old Woking, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [6]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Lesley John Jelley (1922-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 31st March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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