Morley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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." [1]

Early Origins of the Morley family

The surname Morley was first found in Derbyshire at Morley, a parish, in the union of Belper, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch. [2]

"In [the] Domesday Survey this place is described as one of the manors of Henry de Ferrers. In 1235 the manors of Morley and Smalley were held by the abbot of Chester as of the fee of Hugh, Earl of Chester; and Morley was afterwards held by a family who took their name from the place." [3]

Some of the family were found at Wennington in Lancashire in ancient times. "William de Wennington was in possession of the estate, which about the 4th of Edward III. (1330) passed to the family of Morley, of Great and Little Morley, with whom it remained until 1673." [3]

The township of Mearley in Lancashire played an important role in the family history. "The chief part of the township was granted by Jordan le Rous to Stephen, afterwards called de Merley, whose daughter married Adam de Nowell, and carried the Hall and manor into that family, 38th of Edward III." [3]

Some of the family were found in Yorkshire as the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes de Morelay; Adam de Morlay; and Margeria de Morlay as all holding lands there at that time. [4]

The Maulay variant has an interesting background. According to the Battell Abbey Roll, "the first who came to England was Peter de Maulay, a Poitevin, brought by King John, and distinctly accused by Ralph Niger and Henry Knighton of being the tool he employed for ridding himself of his nephew Arthur. Peter's reward was the heiress of Doncaster, Isabella de Turnham, who brought him the barony of Mulgrave. " [5]

Early History of the Morley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morley research. Another 214 words (15 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Morley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Morley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Morley (1557-1602) English organist, church composer, madrigalist, editor, and music printer from Norwich; Sir William Morley (c.1586-1658), a Member of Parliament for Guildford (1625-26), Member of Parliament for Chichester (1640-42), supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; George Morley...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morley World Ranking

In the United States, the name Morley is the 3,082nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [6] However, in Australia, the name Morley is ranked the 614th most popular surname with an estimated 6,377 people with that name. [7] And in New Zealand, the name Morley is the 851st popular surname with an estimated 860 people with that name. [8] The United Kingdom ranks Morley as 359th with 17,419 people. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Morley family to Ireland

Some of the Morley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Morley migration to the United States +

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 settled in Salem in 1630
  • Henry Morley, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Henry Morley, aged 25, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • Symon Morley, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [10]
  • Walter Morley, who landed in Maryland in 1638 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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 [10]
  • George Morley, aged 29, who arrived in Alabama in 1855 [10]
  • Frederick, John, Michael, Thomas, and William Morley, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Valentine Morley, who arrived in Mississippi in 1860 [10]
  • Mr. Francis E. Morley, (b. 1880), aged 19, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 5th August 1899 en route to Allouez Township, Michigan, USA [11]
Morley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Frederick Charles Morley, (b. 1876), aged 24, Cornish miner, from Redruth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th February 1900 en route to Lake Intervale, New Jersey, USA [11]
  • Mrs. Mary J. Morley, (b. 1875), aged 25, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 11th February 1900 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [11]
  • Mr. Francis E. Morley, (b. 1880), aged 23, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 26th April 1903 en route to Michigan, USA [11]
  • Mr. James Henry Morley, (b. 1878), aged 26, Cornish miner, from Chacewater, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 31st January 1904 en route to Michigan, USA [11]

Canada Morley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Morley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Anthony Morley, aged 27 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ganges" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [12]
  • Mr. John Morley, aged 18 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Clarendon" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 [12]

Australia Morley migration to Australia +

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

Morley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Martha Morley, British Convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. James Morley, English labourer who was convicted in (Lindsey), Lincolnshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Thomas Morley, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Thomas Morley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Samuel Morley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Morley 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:

Morley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Morley, aged 21, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Eliza Morley, aged 18, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Mr. W. Morley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [17]
  • Mrs. Morley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [17]
  • Mr. James Morley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Morley migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [18]
Morley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. William Morley, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [19]

Contemporary Notables of the name Morley (post 1700) +

  • Kay Morley (1920-2020), American actress who worked in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Michael Darwin Morley (1930-2020), American mathematician, professor emeritus at Cornell University, known for Morley's categoricity theorem
  • Malcolm Morley (1931-2018), British-American photorealist artist and painter
  • Richard E. "Dick" Morley (1932-2017), American electrical engineer, considered the "father" of the programmable logic controller
  • Thomas R. Morley (1930-2016), American candy executive, President and Chairman of Morley Candy Company
  • Sylvanus Morley (1883-1948), American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar
  • Felix Morley (1894-1982), American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  • Edward Williams Morley (1838-1923), American chemist
  • Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1958), American journalist, novelist, and poet
  • Trevor Grahame Anthony Morley (1933-2013), English cricketer
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Master Earl  Morley (1912-1917), Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [20]
  • Miss Annie Laura  Morley (1897-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [20]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Sidney V Morley (b. 1902), English Chief Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Brighton, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [22]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Royal Oak
  • Reginald Morley, British Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [24]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Morley (d. 1912), aged 34, English Third Class passenger from Petworth, West Sussex who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
  • 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 [25]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Eugene Elvis Morley, American Fireman Second Class from Illinois, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]


Suggested Readings for the name Morley +

  • The Morleys-Young Upstarts on the Southwest Frontier by Norman Cleaveland.
  • Ancestors And Descendants of Timothy Crosby Jr. by Paul Wesley Prindle.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  9. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  12. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 48)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  15. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  16. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1834
  17. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  18. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  19. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  20. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  21. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  22. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  23. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  24. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  25. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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