England with the ancestors of the McClay family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The McClay family lived in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat at Claye.
Early Origins of the McClay family
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 McClay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McClay research.
Another 208 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early McClay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McClay 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 McClay 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 McClay include Clay, Claye, Cley, Cleye, McClay and others.
Early Notables of the McClay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McClay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McClay family to Ireland
Some of the McClay 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 McClay family to the New World and Oceana
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 McClay, or a variant listed above:
McClay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name McClay (post 1700)
The McClay 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.
McClay Family Crest Products