Jolly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Normans that arrived in England following the Conquest of 1066 are the initial ancestors from which the many generations of the Jolly family have grown. The name Jolly was given to a member of the family who was a person originating in France, and was associated with the French Huguenots. This nickname surname originated with an early member who was a happy and lively person. But we must look to Normandy where the earliest records of the root name was found. As a variant of Jolliffe, it was found there as early as 1195 with N. Giolif. Three years later Robert Jolif was listed in a census in the same area of Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Jolly family

The surname Jolly was first found in Yorkshire where there are numerous variations of the name listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 including: Johannes Yoly, Agnes, servienes Joly Johnan, Henricus Joly; Ricardus Jolyman; Willelmus Jolyman and Johannes Jolyman. [2]

This distinguished Huguenot family were granted lands firstly in Staffordshire. Many moved north into Scotland where records there show Alan and Bervy Jolly were granted lands in the county of Edinburgh in 1450. [3]

As confirmation of their Huguenot origin, not all of the family moved far from the English coastline. Some stayed in Cornwall as Pencoose in the parish of St. Enoder was a seat of the family of Jolly in early years. This was afterwards purchased in the reign of Charles II. by Arthur Fortescue, Esq. [4]

Early History of the Jolly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolly research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1541, 1677, 1684, 1629, 1703, 1629, 1610, 1666, 1642, 1647, 1646, 1659, 1714, 1659, 1764, 1692, 1757, 1692 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Jolly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jolly Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Jolly has been recorded under many different variations, including Jollie, Jolley, Jolly, Jollys and others.

Early Notables of the Jolly family (pre 1700)

Notable in the family at this time was Rev. James Jollie, senior chaplain of the Church of Scotland and chaplain of St. Andrew's Church in Madras. Thomas Jollie (1629-1703) was an English Dissenter, a minister ejected for his beliefs from the Church of England. He was "born at Droylsden, near Manchester, on 14 Sept. 1629, and baptised on 29 Sept. at Gorton Chapel, then in the parish of Manchester. His father, Major James Jollie (1610-1666), was provost-marshal general of the forces in Lancashire (1642-1647), and was nominated (2 Oct. 1646) an elder for Gorton in the first or Manchester classis in the...
Another 108 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jolly family to Ireland

Some of the Jolly 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 Jolly migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Jollys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Jolly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Jolly, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [5]
  • Mary Jolly, aged 21, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Mary Jolly, aged 21, settled in Virginia in 1635
  • John Jolly, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Margery Jolly, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jolly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francois Jolly, aged 28, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [5]
  • James Jolly, aged 40, settled in Maryland in 1775
Jolly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Jolly, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Hugh Jolly, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809 [5]
  • Patterson Jolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]
  • Job Henry Jolly, aged 21, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Robert Jolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Jolly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jolly Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Jolly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
Jolly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Catherine Jolly, aged 6 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Eliza Caroline" departing 3rd May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 14th June 1847 but she died on board [6]

Australia Jolly migration to Australia +

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

Jolly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Jolly, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Henry Jolly, (b. 1809), aged 30, Cornish cordwainer from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Andromache" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 31st January 1838 [7]
  • Mrs. Eleanor Jolly, (b. 1809), aged 30, Cornish settler from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Andromache" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 31st January 1838 [7]
  • Mr. Henry Jolly, (b. 1837), aged 2, Cornish settler from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Andromache" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 31st January 1838 [7]
  • Miss Ann Marie Jolly, (b. 1832), aged 7, Cornish settler from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Andromache" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 31st January 1838 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jolly 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:

Jolly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jolly, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mariner" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd June 1859 [8]
  • Mrs. Jolly, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mariner" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd June 1859 [8]
  • Thomas Jolly, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1864
  • Mr. Henry Jolly, (b. 1845), aged 23, Cornish ploughman departing on 12th November 1868 aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 8th February 1869 [9]
  • Miss Mary Jolly, (b. 1838), aged 30, Cornish dairymaid departing on 12th November 1868 aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 8th February 1869 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jolly (post 1700) +

  • E. Grady Jolly (b. 1937), American jurist, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1982-)
  • Johnny Ray Jolly Jr. (b. 1983), former American football defensive end who played for the Green Bay Packers (2006-2009) and in 2013
  • David Wilson Jolly (b. 1972), American attorney, former lobbyist and politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida (2014-2017)
  • Alison Jolly (1937-2014), American primatologist, known for her studies of lemur biology
  • Allison Jolly (b. 1956), American Olympic gold medalist sailor
  • General Sir Alan Jolly GCB CBE DSO (1910-1977), English General, former Quartermaster-General to the Forces
  • Alexander Jolly (1756-1838), Scottish Bishop of Moray, born on 3 April 1756 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, educated Marischal College, Aberdeen, was ordained deacon in the Scottish episcopal church on 1 July 1776 [10]
  • Surgeon-Captain Richard Tadeusz Jolly OBE (1946-2018), Hong Kong-born, British Royal Navy medical officer who served in the Falklands War and was later decorated by both the British and Argentine governments
  • Robert Dudley "Bob" Jolly MNZM (b. 1930), New Zealand veterinary academic, emeritus professor at Massey University
  • Robert Jolly (b. 1885), British cyclist at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  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)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 81)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  10. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 October 2020


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