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MacLeay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Origins Available: English, Scottish

The name MacLeay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the MacLeay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The MacLeay family lived in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat at Claye.

Early Origins of the MacLeay family

The surname MacLeay was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the MacLeay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLeay research.
Another 208 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early MacLeay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacLeay Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the MacLeay family name include Clay, Claye, Cley, Cleye, McClay and others.

Early Notables of the MacLeay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the MacLeay family to Ireland

Some of the MacLeay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 129 words (9 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 MacLeay family to the New World and Oceana

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the MacLeay family to immigrate North America: Jonathon Clay who settled in Virginia in 1643; Jonas Clay settled in Wells and Cape Porpus in 1636; Steven Clay settled in Barbados with wife child and servants in 1680.

The MacLeay Motto

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per orbem
Motto Translation: Through the world.

MacLeay Family Crest Products

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