Only History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Only family

The surname Only 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 Only family

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

Only Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Only family (pre 1700)

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


United States Only migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Only Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Clemt Only, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 [4]
  • Nath Only, who landed in Virginia in 1696 [4]
Only Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Only, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [4]


  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)


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