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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Morley family come from? What is the English Morley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Morley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Morley family history?

The Morley name is habitational, derived from any of the several places so named; such as Morley in Cheshire, Derbyshire, County Durham, Norfolk, and West Yorkshire, and Moreleigh in Devon. These place names come from the Old English words "mor," meaning "marsh" and "le-ah," meaning "a clearing in the woods."

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Morley has undergone many spelling variations, including Morley, Mawley, Morely, Moorley, Maughley, Morleigh, Moorley and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor and original from Ufton in Berkshire. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year of Edward III when Richard Morley held lands.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morley research. Another 427 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1477, 1455, 1487, 1510, 1600, 1483, 1557, 1602, 1586, 1658, 1625, 1640, 1597, 1684, 1660, 1662, 1662, 1684, 1660, 1616, 1667, 1640 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Morley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 177 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Morley were among those contributors:

Morley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Catherine Morley, who came to Salem in 1630
  • Henry Morley, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Henry Morley, aged 25, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Symon Morley, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Walter Morley, who landed in Maryland in 1638


Morley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Morley, a convict sent to America in 1749
  • Ann Morley, who settled in America in 1766
  • Isabella Morley, who settled with her husband in Boston in 1767

Morley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Luke Morley, who landed in New York in 1831
  • George Morley, aged 29, arrived in Alabama in 1855
  • Frederick, John, Michael, Thomas, and William Morley, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Valentine Morley, who arrived in Mississippi in 1860

Morley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Morley, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Morley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Samuel Morley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James Morley, aged 25, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Prince Regent"
  • James Morley, aged 50, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Himalaya"


Morley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Morley, aged 21, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Eliza Morley, aged 18, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Richard Morley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Henry Morley, aged 57, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ambrosine" in 1860
  • Susan Morley, aged 48, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ambrosine" in 1860


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  • Felix Morley (1894-1982), American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  • Sylvanus Morley (1883-1948), American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar
  • Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1958), American journalist, novelist, and poet
  • Edward Williams Morley (1838-1923), American chemist
  • Frank Morley (1860-1937), English mathematician
  • Henry Morley (1822-1894), English writer
  • John Morley (1838-1923), 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn, British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor
  • Samuel Morley (1809-1886), English woollen manufacturer
  • Trevor Grahame Anthony Morley (1933-2013), English cricketer
  • Mr. Henry Samuel Morley (d. 1912), (alias Mr. Henry Marshall), aged 38, English Second Class passenger from Birmingham, Worcester who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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  • The Morleys-Young Upstarts on the Southwest Frontier by Norman Cleaveland.
  • Ancestors And Descendants of Timothy Crosby Jr. by Paul Wesley Prindle.
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  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Morley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Morley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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