Oaklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Oaklay is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in one of the various settlements named Oakley throughout England, or in Oakley Street in Gloucestershire, Oakleigh in Kent, or Ockley in Surrey. The surname Oaklay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Oaklay family

The surname Oaklay was first found in Shropshire where this "ancient family descended from Philip, who is the reign of Henry III., was Lord of Oakley in the parish of Bishop's Castle, from whence he assumed his name, and which has ever since been the inheritance of his descendants." [1] [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Walter de Oclee in Wiltshire; Godwin de Ocle in Suffolk; and Robert de Ocle in Oxfordshire. The Feet if Fins of 1415, list Thomas Acle or Ocle as Sheriff of Norwich at that time. [3]

Early History of the Oaklay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oaklay research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1327, 1362, 1380, 1541, 1660, 1653, 1624, 1635, 1695, 1659, 1660, 1678 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Oaklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oaklay Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Oaklay family name include Oakley, Oakeley, Oakly, Okly, Ockley and others.

Early Notables of the Oaklay family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Oakley, M.P. for Bishop's Castle in 1660; Richard Oakeley (died 1653), of Oakeley, Shropshire, an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for Bishop's Castle...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oaklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Oaklay family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Oaklay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: George Oakley, who came to Virginia in 1654; Francis Oakley, who arrived in Barbados in 1669; John Oakeley, who settled in Virginia in 1773; Alice Oakley, who settled in Virginia in 1729.



The Oaklay Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Non timeo sed caveo
Motto Translation: I do not fear, but am careful.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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