Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Kearlay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Kearlay family
Lancashire at Kearsley, now part of Greater Manchester. The first records of the place were found in 1187 when it was spelt Cherselawe and a few years later as Kereleie (c. 1220. ) The name literally means "clearing where cress grows" having derived from the Old English words caerse + leah. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) There is another Kearsley, a township in the parish of Stamfordham, in Northumberland, but this township has remained rather small in comparison as a census in the late 1800s listed only 11 inhabitants, while the former township in Lancashire had 3,436 inhabitants in the same census.
Early History of the Kearlay family
Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Kearlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kearlay Spelling Variations
spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Kearlay family name include Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.
Early Notables of the Kearlay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Kearlay family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Kearlay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: James Kearsley settled in Philadelphia in 1859.
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