Kearley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Kearley come from when the family resided in the settlement of Kearsley in Lancashire. The surname Kearley 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 Kearley family

The surname Kearley was first found in 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. [1] 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 Kearley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kearley research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1210 are included under the topic Early Kearley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kearley Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Kearley has been recorded under many different variations, including Kearsley, Kearsey, Keasley, Kersley and others.

Early Notables of the Kearley family (pre 1700)

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

United States Kearley migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Kearley or a variant listed above:

Kearley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hannah Kearley, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1899
Kearley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sarah Kearley, aged 51, who settled in America from Hanley, in 1904
  • Robert Cyril Kearley, aged 21, who landed in America from Leighton, England, in 1910
  • Frank Kearley, who landed in America from Southampton, in 1919
  • Frank Kearley, who immigrated to America from Soton, in 1920
  • Frank Kearley, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1921

Canada Kearley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kearley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Chesley Kearley, aged 23, who immigrated to Herring Neck, Newfoundland, in 1918
  • Chesley Kearley, aged 27, who settled in Notre Dame, Newfoundland, in 1923
  • Aaron Kearley, aged 23, who immigrated to Bellora, Newfoundland, in 1923
  • Aunbrey Kearley, aged 21, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1923

Australia Kearley migration to Australia +

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

Kearley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Kearley (aged 18), a groom, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Mr. Joseph Kearley, (b. 1838), aged 18, English groom from Hereford, England, UKtravelling from Plymouth, Devon, UK aboard the ship "Aliquis" arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 26th August 1856 [2]
  • John Kearley, aged 17, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Tantivy"

Contemporary Notables of the name Kearley (post 1700) +

  • Charles Hudson Kearley (1904-1989), English property developer and art collector
  • Terence Kearley (b. 1944), 3rd Viscount Devonport, a British peer
  • Hudson Ewbanke Kearley PC, DL (1856-1934), 1st Viscount Devonport, British grocer and politician, founder of International Tea Company's Stores

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Ernest James Kearley, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [3]

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Aliquis (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from
  3. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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