The ancestors of the bearers of the Raylay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found 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 Raylay family
The surname Raylay 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. Born in Devon
, he became Bishop of Winchester, "but it is doubtful to which of the four branches of the Devonshire Raleighs he belonged. In 1212 he was presented by King John to the church of Bratton, and was employed in judicial business in Lincolnshire
in 1226-1227." CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
"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. 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)
Early History of the Raylay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Raylay research.Another 153 words (11 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 Raylay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Raylay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, 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 Raylay include Raleigh, Rawleigh, Rawley, Rawle, Rawles and others.
Early Notables of the Raylay 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 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Raylay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Raylay family to Ireland
Some of the Raylay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 97 words (7 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 Raylay 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 Raylay or a variant listed above: Sarah Rawleigh settled with her husband in Virginia in 1663; Mary Rawles settled in Virginia in 1653; Elizabeth Rawleigh settled in Pennsylvania in 1772.