Marley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Marley is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Marley is a place-name from in Morlaix, in Brittany, a peninsula in the northwest of France. Formerly known as Armorica, a possession of the Roman Empire, this land consists of a plateau with a deeply indented coast and is broken by hills in the west.

Early Origins of the Marley family

The surname Marley was first found in Cheshire 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 Marley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marley research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1132, 1409, and 1564 are included under the topic Early Marley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marley Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Marley, Marlay, Marly, Maroley and others.

Early Notables of the Marley family (pre 1700)

Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Marley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marley Ranking

In the United States, the name Marley is the 5,949th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Marley is ranked the 5,787th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Marley family to Ireland

Some of the Marley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Marley migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Marley, or a variant listed above:

Marley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Marley, who landed in Maryland in 1641 [3]
  • John Marley, who settled in Virginia in 1658
  • Roger Marley, who settled in Virginia in 1660
  • Roger Marley, who arrived in Virginia in 1660 [3]
  • Francis Marley, who settled in Maryland in 1663
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Marley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Marley, who settled in Maryland in 1730
  • Manus Marley, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [3]
Marley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Marley, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813 [3]
  • James Marley, who arrived in Baltimore in 1828
  • James Marley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • George, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas, and William Marley, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Mr. Richard J. Marley, (b. 1872), aged 27, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 10th June 1899 en route to Red Jacket, Michigan, USA [4]
Marley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. John H. Marley, (b. 1886), aged 19, Cornish gardener, from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Campania" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Cleveland, Ohio, USA [4]

Canada Marley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Marley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Marley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Marley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Marley, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Mr. James Marley who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but he died on board [5]
  • Mr. Martin Marley who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ann" departing 16th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 30th June 1847 but he died on board [5]

Australia Marley migration to Australia +

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

Marley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Marley, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [6]
  • Mr. Daniel Marley, (b. 1807), aged 26, English groom who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1889 [7]
  • Mr. Peter Marley, English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. John Marley who was convicted in Durham, England for 20 years, transported aboard the "David Malcolm" on 13th May 1845, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island [8]
  • J. Marley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Marley (post 1700) +

  • Major-General James Preston Marley (1882-1952), American Commanding General 8th Division (1940-1942) [10]
  • Mary Beth Marley (b. 1995), American Figure Skater
  • J Peverell Marley (1901-1964), American cinematographer
  • Tom Marley, Department of Mathematics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • John Marley (1907-1984), American actor
  • Lena Marley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1980 [11]
  • Kemper Marley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arizona, 1956 [11]
  • Harold P. Marley, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 2nd District, 1932 [11]
  • Chris Marley, American politician, Mayor of Chino Valley, Arizona, 2013 [11]
  • Bert C. Marley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 2000 [11]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. John Marley, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [13]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  5. ^ 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. 85)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-malcolm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHILDE HAROLD 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849ChildeHarold.htm
  10. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) James Marley. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Marley/James_Preston/USA.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  13. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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