Oakly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Oakly family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living 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 Oakly 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 Oakly family

The surname Oakly 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 Oakly family

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

Oakly 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 Oakly include Oakley, Oakeley, Oakly, Okly, Ockley and others.

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


United States Oakly migration to the United States +

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 Oakly or a variant listed above:

Oakly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Oakly, who landed in Maryland in 1669 [4]
Oakly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Oakly, who settled in Maryland in 1718
  • Philip Oakly, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1786 [4]
Oakly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • O B Oakly, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Oakly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oakly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Oakly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833


The Oakly 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)
  4. ^ 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)


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