Selei History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Selei is derived from a nickname in the Old French. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends that portrayed animals behaving as humans. The Old French nickname Selei, meant in the parish of Seal which had various locations in England including the counties of Northumberland, Leicester, Surrey and Kent.

However, the name could have originated from a variety of sources. It could be one who worked at the hall from the Old English word "sele," [1] or, perhaps, "dweller by the sallow copse" from the Old English "siele," or "sele." [2]

Early Origins of the Selei family

The surname Selei was first found in Devon where Ralph de la Sele was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1168. Roger Sele was also listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1198. [2]

"The Seals of the Derby district may hail originally from Seal, a Leicestershire parish close to the Derbyshire border." [3]

Today Selei could also be a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family name which literally means "the quality of being devoted."

Early History of the Selei family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selei research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Selei History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Selei Spelling Variations

The Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, and therefore, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Seal, Seale, Seel, Sealey, Sealy, Seally, Sealley and others.

Early Notables of the Selei family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Selei family to Ireland

Some of the Selei family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Selei family

Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Selei family to immigrate North America: William Seal settled in Boston in 1763; Henry Seale settled in Virginia in 1637; William Seal settled in Maryland in 1740; Charles, Joseph and Piper Seel all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..


Contemporary Notables of the name Selei (post 1700) +

  • Erich Selei, Romanian fighter pilot and flying ace in the Royal Romanian Air Force, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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