Show ContentsReavley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Reavley finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a local representative of a lord, a reeve, sheriff, steward or bailiff. 1 2 The surname Reavley was originally derived from the Old English (ge)refa which referred to a representative. 3 The name is "an official appointed by the lord of the manor to supervise his tenants' work." 4

Early Origins of the Reavley family

The surname Reavley was first found in Leicestershire where Walter and James le Reve were listed in 1220. John atte Reuese was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1327. The plural form of the name which is actually most common today dates back to 1332 when Richard del Reves was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Lancashire in 1332. 3

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Sampson le Reve, Suffolk; and John le Reve, Cambridgeshire. 5

In Somerset, William le Reve, John le Reveson, and William le Reveson were listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) 6

Early History of the Reavley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reavley research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1594, 1608, 1611, 1618, 1638, 1647, 1658, 1660, 1662, 1667, 1672, 1673, 1678, 1686, 1726, 1729, 1737, 1818, 1861, 1865 and 1900 are included under the topic Early Reavley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reavley Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Reavley family name include Reeve, Reve, Reave, Reaves, Reeves and others.

Early Notables of the Reavley family

Distinguished members of the family include Edmund Reeve (1585-1647), English Justice of the Common Pleas, son of Christopher Reeve of Felthorpe, Norfolk; Edmund Reeve (died 1660), English divine, vicar of Hayes-cum-Norwood, Middlesex; Thomas Reeve (1594-1672), English Royalist divine, born at Langley, Norfolk, son of Thomas Reeve, a husbandman; John Reeve (1608-1658), an English plebeian prophet, believed the voice of God had instructed him to found a Third Commission in...
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reavley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Reavley family to Ireland

Some of the Reavley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 196 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Reavley migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Reavley surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Reavley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Reavley, aged 24, originally from Terryhill, England, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Liverpool, England 7
  • John B. Reavley, aged 32, originally from Terryhill, England, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Liverpool, England 7
  • Margaret Reavley, aged 4, originally from Terryhill, England, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Liverpool, England 7
  • Percy J. Reavley, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1923 aboard the ship "Wyncote" from Hull, England, and Dundee 7

Australia Reavley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Reavley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Reavley, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 8

Contemporary Notables of the name Reavley (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Morrow Reavley (1921-2020), American jurist, Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

The Reavley Motto +

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: Animum rege
Motto Translation: Rule thy mind.

  1. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook