Sussex, so named from Old English words "hreac," meaning "mound," and "ham," or "homestead."
Early Origins of the Rakelay family
Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when John Rackham held lands.
Early History of the Rakelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rakelay research.
Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1682, 1720 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Rakelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rakelay Spelling Variations
Rakelay has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Rackham, Reckham, Rakeham, Rackley, Rakeley and others.
Early Notables of the Rakelay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include John "Calico Jack" Rackham (Rackam, Rackum) (1682-1720), an English pirate operating in the Bahamas during the early 18th century. He was captured, then hanged outside Port Royal, Jamaica in 1720. Rackham is best remembered for his design of his Jolly Roger flag, a skull with...
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Migration of the Rakelay family to the New World and Oceana
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Rakelays to arrive on North American shores: Claudius Rackham, who settled in New York in 1868; Joshua Rackham, who settled in New York in 1868; as well as Emily, Eliza and George Rackham, who arrived in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in 1891..
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