Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) There are several places that have this name; they are found in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Early Origins of the Priestlay family
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Kirby's Quest lists Walter Prestlegh in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) CITATION[CLOSE]
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Early History of the Priestlay family
Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Priestlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Priestlay Spelling Variations
spelling variations, including Priestley, Priestly, Preistley,Pressley and others.
Early Notables of the Priestlay family (pre 1700)
PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Priestlay family to Ireland
Some of the Priestlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Priestlay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Priestlay were among those contributors: Abraham, Henry, James, John, Joseph, Patrick and Samuel Priestley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870; Richard Priestly settled in Virginia in 1663.
The Priestlay 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.
Priestlay Family Crest Products