The present generation of the Rawlay family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the village of Raleigh in the county of Devon
. This place-name was originally derived from the Old English ra leah
meaning a meadow for deer.
Early Origins of the Rawlay family
The surname Rawlay was first found in Devon
where one of the first records of the name was William de Raley (or William de Ralegh or William Raleigh) (died 1250) a medieval judge, administrator and bishop. "According to Fuller, they derived their name from 'a well-known town' in that county. I cannot discover any town, or even village, so called." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list the following: Hugh de Ralegh in Devon; and Warin de Raleghe in Somerset
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Rawlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rawlay research.Another 303 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1552, 1618, 1586, 1646, 1641, 1605, 1666, 1626, 1600, 1659 and 1597 are included under the topic Early Rawlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rawlay Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred
years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Rawlay include Raleigh, Rawleigh, Rawley, Rawle, Rawles and others.
Early Notables of the Rawlay family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), a court favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, known for his expeditions to the New World; and his second son, Walter Raleigh or Ralegh (1586–1646), an English divine, Dean of Wells from 1641 until his death in a scuffle; and... Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rawlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rawlay family to Ireland
Some of the Rawlay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 183 words (13 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 Rawlay family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Rawlay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Sarah Rawleigh settled with her husband in Virginia in 1663; Mary Rawles settled in Virginia in 1653; Elizabeth Rawleigh settled in Pennsylvania in 1772.