Pawlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pawlay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Pawlay family lived in Pavilly, in Seine Maritime, Normandy.

"A monastery was founded here by Amalbert, Lord of Pavilly 664, which was restored by Thomas de Pavilly, c. 1090 (Neustria Pia, 328). Reginald de Pavilly died in the first Crusade at Acre (Des Bois). Ralph de Pavilly witnessed a charter of William Earl of Surrey, temp. Henry I." [1]

"The Pavelys," says Banks, were a very numerous family, and greatly divided, which renders a connected account most difficult to give with any accuracy to be depended upon." Contemporary with the above-named Ralph, according to Sir Richard Hoare, was Reginald de Paveley, Lord of Westbury in Wiltshire, where his descendants." [2]

Early Origins of the Pawlay family

The surname Pawlay was first found in Dorset where they held a family seat at Charlton Marshall, when Reginald de Pavelli was granted the King's lands by King Henry II. Later King John granted Pillington of Norfolk to the Lords of Pavelli, Roger and Thomas. The son, however, Thomas Pavelli or Thomas Pawley still adhered to the King of France in 1204. [3]

"There was a flourishing branch seated at Bickenhall in the county of Somerset; and another in Hampshire ; but this latter, according to Woodward, was founded by Walter de Pavilly, Mayor of Rouen, who was one of those who were banished from Normandy on account of their adherence to King johns He settled at Winchester, whence the name came into the county. Reginald de Paveley in 1264 was one of the Hampshire barons summoned to serve against Llewellyn. Robert de Paviliaco held Rodington in Nottinghamshire in the time of Henry I., and founded a family that was seated there till the end of Edward III.'s reign." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two early entries for the family with the Pauly spelling: Geoffrey Pauly, Cambridgeshire; and William Pauly in Cambridgeshire. [4] [5]

Early History of the Pawlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pawlay research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 163 and 1635 are included under the topic Early Pawlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pawlay Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pawley, Pauley, Paulye, Paulley and others.

Early Notables of the Pawlay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Pawlay family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pawlay or a variant listed above: John Pawly who settled in Virginia in 1764; Nicholas Pauly settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1766; Paul Pauly settled in Philadelphia in 1764; William Pauly settled in Philadelphia in 1856. In Newfoundland, John Pawley settled in Hants Harbour in 1884.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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