Manly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Manly is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Manly family lived in the places named Manley in Cheshire. The place-name was originally derived from the Old English word moene, which means common or shared, and leah, which means wood or clearing. [1]

This surname is still found most frequently around the villages of Manley in Devon and Cheshire.

Early Origins of the Manly family

The surname Manly was first found in Cheshire at Manley, a village and civil parish in the union of Runcorn, Second division of the hundred of Eddisbury. [2] The township dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed as Menlie. [3]

"The manor of Manley in Cheshire was possessed in the reign of Henry III. by a family who assumed the name of the township, and held it as mediate lords under the Dones of Crowton." [4]

This "family was an old one. Burke refers its origin to a 'Conqueror's follower' who appears as 'Manlay' in 'Battle Abbey Roll' (Holinshed, Chronicles, 1807, ii. 5). From the twelfth to the sixteenth century they resided in Chester, but in 1520 moved to Denbigh." [5]

Despite the aforementioned, we must look to Devon to find the first listing in early rolls. It is there that William de Manelegh listed in 1202. Over one hundred years later, in Yorkshire, we found Alexander and James Manly in the Assize Rolls of 1363. [6]

Cheshire proved to be stronghold of the family for centuries as the Wills at Chester listed Nicholas Manley, of Poulton, 1595, Ann Manley, of Chester, widow, 1618; and Thomas Manley, of Manley, husbandman, 1665. [7]

Early History of the Manly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Manly research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1157, 1520, 1621, 1629, 1622, 1699, 1659, 1672, 1724, 1672, 1688, 1626, 1688, 1628, 1640, 1646, 1655, 1655 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Manly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Manly Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Manly are characterized by many spelling variations. 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. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Manly include Manley, Mandley, Mandly, Manly, Mannley and others.

Early Notables of the Manly family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Manley (c 1622-1699), an English politician, Post Master General, Member of Parliament for Denbigh Boroughs in 1659; and Mary de la Riviere Manley (c1672-1724), an English writer, editor of The Examiner, probably best known for her two plays "The Lost Lover" and "The Royal Mischief." She was the daughter of Sir Roger Manley [q. v.], and was born about 1672 in Jersey, or, according to another version, at sea between Jersey and Guernsey. She lost her mother while she was young, and her father, who had literary tastes, does not appear to...
Another 269 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Manly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Manly Ranking

In the United States, the name Manly is the 13,997th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Manly family to Ireland

Some of the Manly 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.


United States Manly migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Manly, or a variant listed above:

Manly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Manly, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 with her husband
  • William Manly, who landed in Virginia in 1697 [9]
Manly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sarah Manly, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [9]
  • James Manly, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [9]
Manly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Manly, who landed in New York, NY in 1810 [9]
  • Jos D Manly, who arrived in Kentucky in 1811 [9]
  • Richard Manly, aged 48, who arrived in New York, NY in 1848 [9]
  • James, John, Michael, Robert, and Thomas Manly all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Thomas Manly, who arrived in Illinois in 1861 [9]

Canada Manly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Manly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Bridget, Ellen, James, John, Richard Manly all, who arrived in Quebec in 1848

Contemporary Notables of the name Manly (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Manly, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1799-1800, 1809-10, 1820-21 [10]
  • Robert Emmet Manly (b. 1869), American Democratic Party politician, Honorary Vice-President, 1916; Member of Democratic National Committee from the Philippine Islands, 1912-40 [10]
  • Charles H. Manly (1843-1930), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Washtenaw County 1st District, 1887-88; Defeated, 1914; Mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1890-91 [10]
  • Basil Charles Manly (1839-1882), American politician, Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina, 1875-82 [10]
  • Basil Manly, American Democratic Party politician, Member, Federal Power Commission, 1933-45 [10]
  • Brigadier-General Charles Manly Busbee (1893-1970), American Professor of Military Science & Tactics, Iowa State College (1946-1949) [11]
  • Charles Manly Stedman (1841-1930), American Democratic Party politician; Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, 1885-89; Candidate for Governor of North Carolina, 1888; U.S. Representative from North Carolina 5th District, 1911-30
  • Sir Manly Power (1773-1826), British lieutenant-general, son of Thomas Bolton Power, Esq., of the Hill Court, near Ross, Herefordshire
  • Manly Wade Wellman (1903-1986), American writer
  • Manly B. Mattice (1827-1894), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Greene County 2nd District, 1856; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1888 [12]


The Manly 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: Manus haec inimica tyrannis
Motto Translation: This hand is hostile to tyrants.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Charles Busbee. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Busbee/Charles_Manly/USA.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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