Shawly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Shawly is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shawly family lived in Chorley, Lancashire, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Leyland. "The name of this place is derived from its situation on the river Chor, about a mile from its confluence with the Yarrow, and from the Saxon word Ley, a field; or from the family of Chorley, who were its ancient proprietors. The chief lordships of Chorley were subsequently held by the noble families of Ferrers and Lacy." [1]

Early Origins of the Shawly family

The surname Shawly was first found in Lancashire at Chorley. [2] We should now take a moment to explore the Cheshire branch of the family. It is generally believed that this was a latter branch as the first records there were found in the 16th century. Both townships there were originally held by the "Davenports from about the year 1400 until 1612, when it was purchased by the Downes family" and the "manor was possessed by the Harcourt family in the reign of Edward II., when the two coheiresses of Robert Harcourt married into the Cholmondeley family." [1]

In Berkshire, Walter de Cherlelaie was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1201 and later in Lancashire, Elias de Chorlegh was listed at Putnam in 1350. [3]

The Wills at Chester listed Bridget Chorley, of Chorley, 1595 and John Chorley, of Chester, 1610. [4]

Early History of the Shawly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shawly research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1719, 1808, 1830, 1873, 1807, 1867, 1807 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Shawly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shawly Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Chorley, Chorly and others.

Early Notables of the Shawly family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Josiah Chorley (d. 1719?), English Presbyterian minister, great-grandson of Richard Chorley of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, and second of six sons of Henry Chorley of Preston. [5] Henry Fothergill Chorley was a journalist, author, and art critic, born Dec. 15, 1808, at Blackley Hurst, in Lancashire. "Sprung from an old Lancashire family, he had a self-willed, eccentric character, and an erratic temperament, common to most of its members, which accorded ill with the rigid tenets of the Society of Friends, to which they belonged. At 8 years of age he lost his father, and...
Another 282 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shawly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shawly migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Shawly or a variant listed above were:

Shawly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Shawly, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 [6]
  • Manna Shawly, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [6]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ 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)


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