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McLey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms


Origins Available: English, Scottish


The ancestors of the McLey family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat at Claye.

Early Origins of the McLey family


The surname McLey 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 McLey family


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

McLey Spelling Variations


Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name McLey were recorded, including Clay, Claye, Cley, Cleye, McClay and others.

Early Notables of the McLey family (pre 1700)


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

Migration of the McLey family to Ireland


Some of the McLey 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 McLey family to the New World and Oceana


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name McLey arrived in North America very early: 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 McLey 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.


McLey Family Crest Products



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