Ley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Ley was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ley family lived in any of the various places named Leigh in England. There are at least 16 counties that contain a place named Leigh. The place-name was originally derived from the Old English word leah, which means wood clearing. [1] The English Ley family is descended from the Norman Ley family. The family name Ley became popular in England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. The Normans frequently adopted the names of their recently acquired estates in England.

Early Origins of the Ley family

The surname Ley was first found in Cheshire, at High Leigh, where the name is from "an eminent family, who for centuries in that county nearly all the gentry families of that name claim descent." [2]

Of note are the following ancient families: Legh of East Hall, in High Legh, county Chester, descended from Efward de Lega, who lived at or near the period of the Conquest and who appears to have a Saxon origin; Leigh of West Hall, in High Leigh, originally De Lynne who married a Legh heiress in the 13th century; and Leigh of Adlestrop (Baron Leigh) county Gloucester, descended from Agens, daughter and heiress of Richard de Legh. [3]

Leigh is a fairly common place name that dates back to pre-Conquest times as Leigh, Herefordshire and Worcestershire were both listed as Beornothesleah in 972. [1]

There are over nineteen villages that are either named Leigh or include Leigh in their name throughout Britain. The parish of Hughley in Shropshire derives "its name from Hugh de Lea, proprietor of the manor in the twelfth century, and ancestor of the Leas of Langley and Lea Hall." [4]

"The township [of Poulton with Fearnhead, Lancashire] has been the property of the Legh family, of Lyme, since their union with the Haydocks. Bruch, or Birch, the old manor-house, existing in the 12th of Charles I., was given by Sir Peter Legh to his fourth son Peter, whose grand-daughter married the grandson of Dr. Thomas Legh, the third son of Sir Peter." [4]

Important Dates for the Ley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ley research. Another 252 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1563, 1614, 1589, 1600, 1660, 1640, 1642, 1583, 1662, 1639, 1667, 1660, 1667, 1634, 1687, 1656, 1659, 1653, 1692, 1692, 1662, 1701, 1651, 1711, 1702, 1705, 1681, 1760, 1663, 1716, 1678, 1721, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Ley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ley have been found, including Leigh, Lee, Lea, Legh, Leghe, Ligh, Lighe, Leyie, Ley and many more.

Early Notables of the Ley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Leigh of Isel, High Sheriff of Cumberland in 1548; William Lee (1563-1614), English clergyman and inventor of the first stocking frame knitting machine in 1589; Sir Richard Lee, 2nd Baronet (ca. 1600-1660), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1642, supporter of the Royalist side in the English Civil War; John Ley (1583-1662), an English clergyman and member of the Westminster Assembly; Sir Francis Henry Lee, 4th Baronet (1639-1667), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1667; Richard Legh (1634-1687)...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ley family to Ireland

Some of the Ley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ley migration to the United States

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ley were among those contributors:

Ley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Ley, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Rachell Ley, who arrived in America in 1654-1679 [5]
  • Edward Ley, who landed in Maryland in 1664 [5]
  • William Ley, who landed in New Jersey in 1677 [5]
  • Hump Ley, who landed in Virginia in 1698 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Jurigh Ley, aged 28, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [5]
  • Anna Maria Ley, aged 24, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [5]
  • Johannes Ley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [5]
  • Hans Yerrick Ley, aged 21, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 [5]
  • Felix Ley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1764 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Karl Ley, who arrived in America in 1846 [5]
  • Matthias Ley, aged 47, who landed in Brazil in 1846 [5]
  • Hannis VanDer Ley, who arrived in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • Mrs. P VanDer Ley, who arrived in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • Rogina VanDer Ley, who arrived in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Ley migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Ley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Michael Ley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
Ley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Godfred Ley who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "General Hewitt" departing 22nd July 1847 from Bremen, Germany; the ship arrived on 12th September 1847 but he died on board [6]

Ley migration to Australia

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

Ley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Ley, (b. 1803), aged 15 born in Cornwall, UK convicted in Cornwall on 14th July 1818, sentenced for 7 years for stealing iron gads, transported aboard the ship "Coromandel" in 1819 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Ley(b. 1803), aged 15, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 14th July 1818, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a number of iron gads from Thomas Menheer and William Hancock, transported aboard the ship "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [8]
  • Robert Kent Ley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [9]
  • Elizabeth Ley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [9]
  • Robert Ley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ley (post 1700)

  • Bob Ley (b. 1955), American sportscaster for ESPN
  • Willy Ley (1906-1969), German-American science writer and space advocate
  • Sir Francis Ley (1846-1916), 1st Baronet, English businessman and politician who founded Ley's Malleable Castings Vulcan Ironworks in Derby and owned Ley's Baseball Ground from 1890 to 1924, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire (1905)
  • Henry George Ley MA DMus FRCO FRCM (1887-1962), English organist, composer and music teacher
  • Mr. Alastair Belvins Ley M.B.E.,, British Lieutenant Commander for the Royal Navy, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [10]
  • Kem Ley (1970-2016), Cambodian political commentator and activist
  • David Ley, Welsh professor at the University of British Columbia
  • Sussan Penelope Ley (b. 1961), Australian politician
  • Richard Norman "Rick" Ley (b. 1948), retired Canadian professional NHL and WHA ice hockey player
  • Gary Ley (b. 1956), Welsh writer

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Citations

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. 84)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  10. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
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