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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Pulley is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a young buck; it is derived from the Old French word poulain, which meant colt. This nickname would have been given to a person given over to friskiness and possessed of a certain nervous energy in much the same way a young horse is. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk-tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans.
The surname Pulley was first found in Yorkshire but one of the earliest record of the name was Robert Pullen (died 1146), an English theologian and official of the Roman Catholic Church. He is generally thought to have been born in Poole, Devonshire and first educated in England. He was Archdeacon of Rochester in 1134, Shortly after this appointment, he went to Paris. There, he taught logic and theology tutoring John of Salisbury, who describes him as a man commended both by his life and his learning in 1141. Back in France, we found that John and Ivo Polain were listed in Normandy (1185-1190.) A few years later nine of the name were listed there in 1198 
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 Pulley have been found, including Pulleine, Pullen, Pullan, Pulleyn, Pulling and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pulley research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1690, 1598 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Pulley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pulley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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. Among the first immigrants of the name Pulley, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:
Pulley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Pulley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Pulley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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: Nulla pallescere culpa
Motto Translation: To turn pale from no crime.
The Pulley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pulley 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 8 January 2016 at 11:17.