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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Pilley family come from? What is the English Pilley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pilley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pilley family history?

The Pilley surname is generally thought to be habitational name from either the place name Pillay, in southern Yorkshire; or Pilley in Hampshire. These place names are both thought to derive from the Old English word "pil" or "pile," meaning a "post," and "leah," which refers to a clearing in the woods.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Pilley, Pillet, Pilly, Pillay and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Pilley. The Norman influence of English history dominated after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. The family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates in that shire near Sheffield.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pilley research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1380, 1455, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Pilley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Pilley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pilley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Pilley, who arrived in America in 1734

Pilley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Pilley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1834
  • Mark Pilley, who arrived in Nebraska in 1871

Pilley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Harry Pilley, who came to Canada in 1894

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  • Dorothy Pilley (1894-1986), prominent English female mountaineer
  • Cameron Pilley (b. 1982), professional squash player from Australia


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Pilley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pilley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 March 2015 at 01:11.

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