Preistly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestry of the name Preistly dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in or near a clearing in a wood owned by priests. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English elements preost, which means priest, and leah, which means forest clearing. The name as a whole therefore means "dweller in or near the forest clearing owned by priests."  There are several places that have this name; they are found in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Early Origins of the Preistly family
The surname Preistly was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire where the "surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Priestley' (i.e the priest's meadow), some small estate in the near neighbourhood of Bradford." 
However, we must look to the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire to find the first record of the family. For it is there that Samson de Presteleia was listed in 1198. From this Latin version, the name had evolved to Richard de Presteley who was listed in Yorkshire in 1297. 
Kirby's Quest lists Walter Prestlegh in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.)  Later, the following two entries were found at Hipperholme, near Bradford, Yorkshire during the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379: Elena de Presteley; and Johannes de Presteley. 
Another source agrees with the Yorkshire origin, but notes "the ancient seat and inheritance of the family was in Soyland and Sowerby, in the parish of Halifax." 
Early History of the Preistly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Preistly research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Preistly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Preistly Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Preistly have been found, including Priestley, Priestly, Preistley,Pressley and others.
Early Notables of the Preistly family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Preistly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Preistly family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Preistly, or a variant listed above: Abraham, Henry, James, John, Joseph, Patrick and Samuel Priestley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870; Richard Priestly settled in Virginia in 1663.
Related Stories +
The Preistly Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Respice finem
Motto Translation: Regard the end.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.