Ockley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Ockley family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from 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 Ockley 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 Ockley family

The surname Ockley 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 Ockley family

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

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

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

Migration of the Ockley family

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 Ockley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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 Ockley 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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