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Where did the Motley coat of arms come from? When did the Motley family first arrive in the United States?

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Coat of Arms > Motley Coat of Arms

Motley Coat of Arms
 Motley Coat of Arms

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Origin Displayed: Welsh

Spelling variations of this family name include: Medlicot, Medlicott, Medlycot, Medlycott, Medlicote, Medleycot, Medleycott, Medleycote, Modlicot, Modlicote and many more.

First found in Shropshire , where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say long before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Daniel Medlicott who landed in Philadelphia Pa. in 1683.

(From www.HouseOfNames.com Archives copyright 2000 - 2009)

Motto Translated: Vigilance ensures tranquility.

Suggested Readings for the name Motley
A Bicentennial History of Eleven Pioneer Families by Mary M. Beadles, The Families of Williams, Kenoyer, New, Motley by Lola Bernice Frakes.

Some noteworthy people of the name Motley
  • John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877), American historian and diplomat
  • Marion Motley (1920-1999), American Football fullback and linebacker, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968
  • Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891-1981), African-American Harlem Renaissance painter
  • Willard Motley (1909-1965), African-American writer
  • Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005), African-American civil rights activist, lawyer, judge, state senator, President of Manhattan, New York City
  • Darryl DeWayne Motley (b. 1960), American former Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Dr Eric Lamar Motley (b. 1972), American Vice President of the Aspen Institute
  • Langhorne Anthony Motley (b. 1938), American diplomat, former United States Ambassador to Brazil (19811983)
  • Ronald L. Motley (1944-2013), American trial attorney, and a principal of Motley Rice LLC
  • George Motley, American escaped slave and Civil War soldier


Learn More About Welsh Surnames



Most Welsh surnames are patronymic; that is, they are derived from a personal name of an ancestor. In the Middle Ages, the prefixes ap, ab (son of) and ferch (daughter of) were commonly found in Welsh surnames. Welsh names used to include strings of patronymics going back through the generations, until the 16th century when people began to use fixed hereditary surnames. However, some surnames' prefixes can still be found today in many Welsh surnames, such as Prince, Probert, Bowen (ap Owen), and Beddoes. Henry VIII frowned upon this nomenclature and thus began the great change in Welsh surnames



The Black Prince, or Edward, Prince of Wales, (1330-76), is thought to have gained his nickname due to the color of his armor -- jet black. However, this claim cannot be verified. Contrary to popular conceptions, period illustrations typically depict him in silver or gilt armor, not black. He may have gained this moniker because he wore a black surcoat with a silver plume. Yet a more fantastic notion also circulates. Many hold the opinion that he was labeled black because of his skill as a knight or because he was often merciless towards the vanquished. His sacking of the town of Limoges in 1370 gives some credence to the latter notion. After taking the town, all its inhabitants were slaughtered, with no consideration to age or gender.



Writers and historians have long been divided on the truth of the many different tellings of the stories of Arthur, the great Welsh king of Britain. Although many now think that there is some truth underlying the widely varying accounts, the hard facts surrounding Arthur's reign are almost completely obscured in a mist of myths and legends. Like all legends, these tales evolved over many centuries. Their telling and retelling over those years, while it may have left them somewhat lacking in truth, has emphasized and expanded their most compelling parts, making the Arthurian saga as glorious and prolific a body of stories as any, in fact or fiction.


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This page was last modified on 5 August 2014 at 21:26.

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