Knightlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Knightlay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in the village of Knightly. Knightlay is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.
Early Origins of the Knightlay family
The surname Knightlay was first found in Staffordshire where "the first recorded ancestor of this ancient family is Rainald, mesne lord of Knightley, under Earl Roger, in the time of William the Conqueror, as appears by Domesday Book."  "Fawsley Hall, co. Northampton, the seat of the present Baronet, was acquired by purchase, temp. Henry V."  "This place, which lies in the western portion of the county, bordering upon Warwickshire, has since the time of Henry V. been in the possession of the Knightley family. The extensive mansion of Fawsley Park, the residence of Sir Charles Knightley, Bart., is situated on a gently elevated lawn, commanding a rich expanse of wood and fertile pasturage, enlivened by three fine sheets of water. " 
Early History of the Knightlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knightlay research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1533, 1615, 1639, 1626, 1617 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Knightlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Knightlay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Knightlay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Knightlay include: Knightley, Knightly and others.
Early Notables of the Knightlay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Richard Knightley (1533-1615) Sheriff of Northamptonshire who was involved in the proceedings which led to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots; Richard Knightley...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knightlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knightlay family to Ireland
Some of the Knightlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knightlay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Knightlay or a variant listed above: Walter Knightly who sailed to Barbados in 1683 and Thomas Knightly to America in 1759.
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- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.