Selvey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Selvey reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Selvey family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Selvey family lived in Nottingham, at the manor of Silvan.

The patriarch of the line "Joceus le Flamangh," who came to England at the Conquest, held the third part of a knight's fee in Cukeney in Nottinghamshire, and two ploughlands of the King "by the service of shoeing the King's palfrey on all four feet, with the King's nails, as oft as he should lie at his manor of Mansfield; and if he lame the King's palfrey, or prick him, or shoe him too strait, he shall forfeit to the King a palfrey worth four marks." His grandson Thomas built a castle at Cukeney during the war between Stephen and the Empress Maud, " when," says Surtees, "almost every landed gentleman in England turned his house into a peel or castlelet : "and after the peace, in Henry II.'s time, founded Welbeck Abbey. His only child was a daughter : but his brother, Ralph le Silvan, of Woodhouse, carried on the line, and was the father of Osbert Silvan, Sheriff of Notts in 1140. "His descendants held the manor of Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, at least as late as 1330, but were more frequently styled of Thorp-Salvin,* a small parish on the extreme Southern border of Yorkshire. [1]

*"The Salvins must have been settled at Thorpe-Salvin soon after the Conquest, and as they appear to have been a family of distinction, it is probable that the ancestor might be one of the two knights of De Busli mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Laughton." [1]

Early Origins of the Selvey family

The surname Selvey was first found in Nottingham where the family name is descended from a Norman noble Joceus le Flemangh who accompanied William the Conqueror into England and was granted part of a knight's fee at Cuckney in that shire.

Sir Gerard Salveyn (d. 1320), was an English judge, son of Robert Salveyn of North Driffield, Yorkshire. "The family claimed descent from Joce le Flemangh, who came over with the Conqueror and settled at Cukeney, Nottinghamshire, and whose grandson Ralph obtained the surname Le Silvan from his manor of Woodhouse." [2]

From this latter place, the Cuckeney variant hails. Another source notes, "Sir Osbert Silvayne, Knight of Norton Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, living in the 29th of Henry III" [3] is also claimed to be the progenitor of the family. The latter reference acknowledges the incongruity by noting that "some of the name ... were seated at Norton before the year 1140." [3] So, we must leave the true progenitor in question.

Thorpe-Salvin in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to a branch of the family. "This place is situated at the junction of the counties of York, Derby, and Nottingham. It was anciently the property of the Salvin family, and subsequently of the Sandfords." [4]

Early History of the Selvey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selvey research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1348 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Selvey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Selvey Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Selvey family name include Salvin, de Salvin, Salwin, Silvan, Silvayne, Salvayne, Salvyn, Cuckney, Cucknay, Cukney and many more.

Early Notables of the Selvey family (pre 1700)

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


United States Selvey migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Selvey family to immigrate North America:

Selvey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Selvey, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [5]
Selvey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Louis Selvey, aged 30, originally from Kilcormac, Ireland, who arrived in New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Carmania" from Queenstown, Ireland [6]
  • John Selvey, aged 30, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Vasari" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Lora Selvey, aged 19, originally from Ashton under Lyne, England, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Carmania" from Liverpool, England [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Selvey (post 1700) +

  • Troy Selvey (b. 1980), American basketball player
  • Michael Walter William "Mike" Selvey (b. 1948), English former Test and county cricketer; he played in three Tests for England in 1976 and 1977
  • Warwick Perrins Selvey (b. 1939), Australian gold medalist at the 1962 Commonwealth Games


The Selvey 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: Je ne change qu'en mourant
Motto Translation: I only change in death.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ6M-W4W : 6 December 2014), Louis Selvey, 20 Nov 1910; citing departure port Queenstown, arrival port New York, ship name Carmania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J64B-RZV : 6 December 2014), John Selvey, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York City, New York, New York, ship name Vasari, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6GD-S4S : 6 December 2014), Lora Selvey, 11 Jun 1921; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Carmania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


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