The ancestors of the name Rayley date back to the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Rayley family 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 Rayley family
The surname Rayley 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 Rayley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rayley 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 Rayley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rayley Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Rayley are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Rayley include: Raleigh, Rawleigh, Rawley, Rawle, Rawles and others.
Early Notables of the Rayley 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 Rayley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rayley family to Ireland
Some of the Rayley 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 Rayley family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Rayley 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.
Rayley Family Crest Products
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)