Midgley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Midgley name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Midgley was originally derived from a family having lived in the settlement of Migley in Durham, or in the place named Midgley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Midgley 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 Midgley family

The surname Midgley was first found in West Riding of 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. [1] 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." [2]

Early History of the Midgley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Midgley research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Midgley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Midgley Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Midgley include Midgley, Midgeley, Midgely, Medgley, Medgely, Medgeley and many more.

Early Notables of the Midgley family (pre 1700)

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

Midgley Ranking

In the United States, the name Midgley is the 17,653rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States Midgley migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Midgley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Midgley, who arrived in Maryland in 1675 [4]
Midgley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Midgley, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [4]
Midgley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John and Benjamin Midgley, who settled in New York in 1820
  • Edward and Holmes Midgley, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868

Australia Midgley migration to Australia +

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

Midgley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Midgley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Midgley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Midgley, aged 18, a smith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Midgley, (b. 1835), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [6]
  • Mr. Benjamin Midgley, (b. 1845), aged 20, British shoemaker travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [6]
  • Miss Martha Midgley, (b. 1847), aged 18, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [6]
  • Miss Hannah Midgley, (b. 1862), aged 3, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Midgley (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Midgley Jr. (1889-1944), American mechanical engineer and chemist. member of the team that developed the tetraethyllead (TEL) additive to gasoline and some of the first chlorofluorocarbons; he held hundreds of patents and was awarded the William H. Nichols Medal (1922), the Longstreth Medal (1925), the Perkin Medal (1937), the Priestley Medal (1941) and the Willard Gibbs Award (1942)
  • Frederick W. Midgley, American Republican politician, Independent Republican Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from New Haven, 1932 [7]
  • Mary Beatrice Midgley (b. 1919), English moral philosopher
  • Vernon Midgley (b. 1940), English tenor
  • Maryetta Midgley (b. 1944), English soprano
  • John Midgley, English Academy Award winning sound engineer
  • Neil Alan Midgley (b. 1978), English professional footballer
  • Neil Midgley (1942-2001), English football referee
  • Thomas Midgley (b. 1860), English professional footballer who played as an inside forward for Burnley (1882-1889)
  • Walter Midgley (1914-1980), British operatic tenor, known for his work at the Royal Opera House
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ 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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