Pale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Pale surname are uncertain. It may have derive from the Middle English words "pale," and "eye," in which case it was likely a nickname which evolved into a name. Or it may come from an Old Scandinavian personal name, "Palle," which was probably originally an ethnic name for someone from Poland.

Early Origins of the Pale family

The surname Pale was first found in Yorkshire where the name was first borne as a personal name by a powerful Dane mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle as Pallig A.D. 1101. [1]

Early History of the Pale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pale research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1101, 1379, 1591, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Pale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pale Spelling Variations

Pale has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Paley, Pailey, Palley, Pallie, Pailley, Pailie and many more.

Early Notables of the Pale family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Pale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pale family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Pales to arrive on North American shores: Peter Paley, who came to Virginia in 1670; John Palley, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Virginia in 1726; William Paley, who came to Baltimore in 1811.


Contemporary Notables of the name Pale (post 1700) +

  • Pale Olofsson (b. 1947), Swedish rock musician, actor


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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