Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found 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 Prislay family
Islay 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." 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 Prislay family
Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Prislay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Prislay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Prislay include Priestley, Priestly, Preistley,Pressley and others.
Early Notables of the Prislay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Prislay family to Ireland
Some of the Prislay 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 Pr Islay family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Prislay 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.
The Prislay 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.
Prislay Family Crest Products