The present generation of the Riselay 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 region of Risley
. Riselay is a topographic
surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. In this case, these place names are all derived from the Old English words hri-s,
meaning "brush wood," and leah,
which meant "a clearing."
Early Origins of the Riselay family
The surname Riselay was first found in Bedfordshire
, at Riseley, a village and civil parish that dates back to at least the Domesday Book
where it was listed as Riselai. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
and mentioned at least 6 times, all in the same shire. At that time it was part of the Stodden hundred
, land held by the Bishop of Coutances and 2 Frenchmen and 6 Englishmen held 6 hides for the bishop. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Risley Hall at Risley, Derbyshire
dates back to the 11th century and is now a hotel and spa set in 17 acres. One of the first listings of the name was Sir Raulfe Risley of Chetwood ( fl.
Early History of the Riselay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riselay research.Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1952, 1630 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Riselay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Riselay 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 Riselay include Riseley, Risley, Reasley, Reeasly and others.
Early Notables of the Riselay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Riselay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Riselay family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Riselay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Christian Riselay U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 CITATION[CLOSE]
Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
The Riselay 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: Fato prudentia major
Motto Translation: Prudence is greater than fate.