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Ollay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Ollay emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Ollay family originally lived near a prominent group of holly shrubs. The surname Ollay is derived from the Old English words holi, holie, and holin, which in turn come from the Old English words holegn and holen, which mean holly. The surname Ollay belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Ollay family

The surname Ollay was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Ollay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ollay research.
Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1602, 1686 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Ollay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ollay Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Holly, Holley, Hollie and others.

Early Notables of the Ollay family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ollay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ollay family to Ireland

Some of the Ollay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 145 words (10 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 Ollay family to the New World and Oceana

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Ollay were found: John Holly settled in Virginia in 1650; along with Tyonll in Virginia in 1665; Elizabeth Holly settled in New England in 1635; Lionel Holley settled in Virginia in 1642.

Ollay Family Crest Products

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