Longley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Longley has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Langley in five counties in ancient Britain. Literally, the place name means "long wood or clearing," from the Old English words "land" + "leah." The name has Saxon roots too as the oldest place we found was in Langley, Kent where it was listed as Longanleag in 814. The next earliest was in Wiltshire where Langelegh was listed in 940, both before the Norman Conquest in 1066. 
Early Origins of the Longley family
The surname Longley was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Some of the first records of the name were listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Thomas Langeleye in Oxford; Peter de Langlege in Wiltshire; and Ralph de Langleye in Kent. 
Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family since early times. "In the reign of Edward the Confessor, it formed part of the royal demesnes; and, after the Conquest, was granted by Henry I. to William, Earl Warren, with whose descendants it remained till the reign of Edward III., when, in default of issue male, it escheated to the crown, and was given by that monarch to his fifth son, Edmund de Langley, upon whom he conferred the title of Earl of Cambridge, and who, in the reign of Richard II., was for his important services created Duke of York." 
Some of the family were found in the North Riding of Yorkshire at Wykeham. "Wykeham Abbey, the seat of the Hon. Marmaduke Langley, who is lord of the manor and chief owner of the soil, is a neat mansion, standing in a finely wooded park about a mile south of the village." 
Langley Castle is a restored medieval tower house, now operated as an hotel, situated in the village of Langley in the valley of the River South Tyne, Northumberland. This castle was never held by the Langley family but is so named because of its proximity to the village. Langley Chapel is a 17th century Anglican parish church, located near Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England.
Early History of the Longley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Longley research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1576, 1341, 1402, 1363, 1437, 1386, 1404, 1548, 1602, 1595, 1596, 1611 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Longley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Longley Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Longley have been found, including Langley, Langlee, Langleigh and others.
Early Notables of the Longley family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, 1st Earl of Cambridge, (1341-1402), a medival prince; Thomas Langley (c.1363-1437), an English prelate, Dean of York, Bishop of Durham, twice Lord Chancellor of England, the second longest serving Chancellor of the Middle Ages; Sir Robert Langley, appointed Dean of York in 1386, though his...
In the United States, the name Longley is the 8,369th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Longley family to Ireland
Some of the Longley 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.
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Longley, or a variant listed above:
Longley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Longley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
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:
Longley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Empress of Ireland