Olney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Olney family

The surname Olney was first found in Buckinghamshire at Olney, a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Milton Keynes. The place dates back to 979 where it was listed as Ollanege. By the time of the Domesday Book, the place name had evolved to Olnei [1] which meant "island, or dry ground in a marsh, of a man called Olla," derived from the Old English personal name + eg. [2]

On November 4th, 1643, Olney was the site of the Battle of Olney Bridge, a skirmish in the First English Civil War. The town has a long history as a lace-making centre, but is best known as the place where the Olney Hymns were written.

John Newton (1725-1807), author of the hymn Amazing Grace was curate of Olney. Some of the family were found in Weston-Underwood in early times. "The church [of Weston-Underwood] is a neat structure, built by Sir John Olney in the 14th century." [3]

Early History of the Olney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olney research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1272, 1800, 1877, 1600, 1682 and 1635 are included under the topic Early Olney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olney Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Olney, Onley, Oneley, Ongley and others.

Early Notables of the Olney family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Olney migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Olney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Marie Olney, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Thomas and Marie Olney, from Hertfordshire who sailed aboard the Planter destined for Salem Massachusetts in 1635
  • Etenetus Olney, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • Mary Olney, aged 30, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • Thomas Olney, who arrived in New England in 1635 [4]
Olney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas and Epenetus Olney, who settled in Rhode Island in 1720
Olney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Atchison Olney, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]

Canada Olney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Olney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Abraham Olney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Charles Olney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Coggeshal Olney, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • James Olney, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • John Olney, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Olney (post 1700) +

  • Richard Olney (1927-1999), American painter, cook, food writer, editor, and memoirist
  • Jesse Olney (1798-1872), American geographer
  • Louis Atwell Olney (1875-1949), American pioneering textile chemist and educator
  • Peter Butler Olney (1843-1922), American lawyer and politician from New York
  • Warren Olney (1841-1921), American lawyer, environmentalist, and politician
  • John Olney, American medical doctor and neuropathologist
  • Cyrus Olney (1815-1870), American politician and lawyer
  • David Charles Olney (b. 1948), American folk singer/songwriter
  • Richard Olney (1835-1917), American statesman, United States Attorney General and Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland
  • Cyrus Olney (b. 1815), American Republican politician, Delegate to Oregon State Constitutional Convention from Clatsop County, 1857 [5]
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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