The ancestors of the bearers of the Nightlay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found in the village of Knightly.
Nightlay is a topographic
surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation
names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local
names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.
Early Origins of the Nightlay family
The surname Nightlay was first found in Staffordshire
where "the first recorded ancestor of this ancient family is Rainald, mesne lord of Knightley, under Earl Roger, in the time of William the Conqueror, as appears by Domesday Book." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
"Fawsley Hall, co. Northampton
, the seat of the present Baronet
, was acquired by purchase, temp.
Henry V." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
"This place, which lies in the western portion of the county, bordering upon Warwickshire
, has since the time of Henry V. been in the possession of the Knightley family. The extensive mansion of Fawsley Park, the residence of Sir Charles Knightley, Bart., is situated on a gently elevated lawn, commanding a rich expanse of wood and fertile pasturage, enlivened by three fine sheets of water. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Nightlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nightlay research.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1533, 1615, 1639, 1626, 1617 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Nightlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nightlay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Nightlay include Knightley, Knightly and others.
Early Notables of the Nightlay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Richard Knightley (1533-1615) Sheriff of Northamptonshire who was involved in the proceedings which led to the execution of Mary Queen
of Scots; Richard Knightley... Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nightlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nightlay family to Ireland
Some of the Nightlay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 49 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nightlay family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Nightlay or a variant listed above: Walter Knightly who sailed to Barbados in 1683 and Thomas Knightly to America in 1759.