Pilley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Pilley family

The surname Pilley was 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.

Early History of the Pilley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pilley research. Another 85 words (6 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Pilley Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Pilley family (pre 1700)

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


United States Pilley migration to the United States +

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

Canada Pilley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pilley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Harry Pilley, who settled in Canada in 1894

Contemporary Notables of the name Pilley (post 1700) +

  • James F. Pilley, American politician, Mayor of Shawnee, Kansas, 1965-70; Resigned 1970 [1]
  • Dorothy Pilley (1894-1986), prominent English female mountaineer
  • Joseph Pilley, Newfoundland first Waymaster of Hickman's Harbor in 1881
  • Thadée "Teddy" Pilley (1909-1982), born Ari Thaddeus Pilichowski, French-born, British linguist and conference interpreter
  • Cameron Pilley (b. 1982), Australian professional squash player


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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