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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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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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.

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


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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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  • James F. Pilley, American politician, Mayor of Shawnee, Kansas, 1965-70; Resigned 1970
  • 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 ling Uist and conference interpreter
  • Cameron Pilley (b. 1982), Australian professional squash player


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  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 15 January 2016 at 11:50.

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