Murley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Murley 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."

Early Origins of the Murley family

The surname Murley was first found in Derbyshire at Morley, a parish, in the union of Belper, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch. "In 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." [1] 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." [1]

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." [1]

Early History of the Murley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murley 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 Murley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Murley Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Murley include Morley, Mawley, Morely, Moorley, Maughley, Morleigh, Moorley and many more.

Early Notables of the Murley 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 Murley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Murley migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Murley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Murley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Murley, who settled in New York, NY in 1820

Canada Murley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Murley, who arrived in Ontario in 1871

Australia Murley migration to Australia +

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

Murley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Murley, (b. 1831), aged 24, Cornish agricultural labourer, from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Gloriana" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th July 1855 [2]
  • Mr. Henry Murley, (b. 1835), aged 21, Cornish blacksmith departing from Plymouth on 31st August 1856 aboard the ship "Severn" arriving in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 9th December 1856 [3]
  • Mrs. Mary Murley, (b. 1832), aged 24, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth on 31st August 1856 aboard the ship "Severn" arriving in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 9th December 1856 [3]
  • Mrs. Jane Murley, (b. 1834), aged 43, Cornish housekeeper travelling aboard the ship "Pericles" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 5th December 1877 [4]
  • Mr. William Murley, (b. 1854), aged 23, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Pericles" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 5th December 1877 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Murley (post 1700) +

  • Matt Murley (b. 1979), American NHL professional ice hockey forward
  • Mr. Jonathon Mark Murley M.B.E., British Major for Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [5]
  • Mike Murley, Canadian jazz musician

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. D Murley, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1850_59.pdf
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  6. ^ 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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