Redlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Redlay is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the parish of Radley in the county of Berkshire. The surname Redlay is both topographic and habitational since it was originally derived from the Old English word Redleah, referring to those individuals who lived by the reed stream, and also refers to the place-name in Berkshire. [1] Today Radley is a village and civil parish northwest of the centre of Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Originally in Berkshire, it was transferred in 1974. [2]

Early Origins of the Redlay family

The surname Redlay was first found in Essex, where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Roger de Redlee; Warin de Redleye; and Richard de Redlege as all residing there at that time. [3] But the name likely went back further as Radeleáh was the form found in a 10th century charter in Wiltshire. [4]

Early History of the Redlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Redlay research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 167 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Redlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Redlay 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 Redlay family name include Radley, Radleigh, Radlee, Radlie, Radle and others.

Early Notables of the Redlay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Redlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Redlay family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, 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 Redlay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Richard Radley, who came to Virginia in 1649; John Radley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1727; and Thomas Radley, who came to New England in 1765.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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