Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in the settlement of Migley in Durham, or in the place named Midgley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Midgelay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Midgelay family
Yorkshire at Midgley, a hill-top village in Calderdale in the chapelry of Luddenden, parish and union of Halifax, wapentake of Morley. The village dates back to at least the Domesday Book when it was listed as Micleie and literally meant "wood or clearing infested with midges," from the Old English mycg + leah. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) One branch was later found at Thornton, again in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "Leventhorpe Hall, also in the township, was the seat of a distinguished family; and at Headley is an old mansion in the Elizabethan style, in former times occupied by a branch of the Midgleys." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Midgelay family
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Midgelay Spelling Variations
hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Midgelay were recorded, including Midgley, Midgeley, Midgely, Medgley, Medgely, Medgeley and many more.
Early Notables of the Midgelay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Midgelay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Midgelay family emigrate to North America: Robert and John Medley, who came to Virginia in 1635; Roger Medley settled in Barbados in 1672; John and Benjamin Midgley settled in New York in 1820.
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