England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shellay family lived in Sussex having derived from the Old English word shelf, meaning a wooded clearing on a ledge or plateau, and indicates that the original bearer lived near such a landmark. Following the Norman line "genealogists assert that the Sheeleys 'came out of France with William the Conqueror.' Seulle, Shevels, or Sheuile, is found in the lists called the Roll of Battel Abbey." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Shellay family
Sussex where "there is no doubt of the antiquity of the house of Shelley, the accounts of the earlier descents of the family are very scanty. Originally of the county of Huntingdon, [now Cambridgeshire] the Shelleys are said to have removed into this county at a very early period." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print. The earliest record of the name was John and Thomas Shelley who followed the fortunes of Richard II and were subsequently beheaded in the first year of Henry IV's rule. The remaining brother who was not connected, retained his possessions. CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Early History of the Shellay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shellay research.
Another 307 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1567, 1644, 1792 and 1822 are included under the topic Early Shellay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shellay Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Shellay include Shelly, Shelley and others.
Early Notables of the Shellay family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shellay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shellay family to the New World and Oceana
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Shellays to arrive on North American shores: John Shelley who settled in Virginia in 1623; Robert Shelley settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1632; Joseph Shelley was banished to Barbados in 1685.
The Shellay 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: Fey e fidalgia
Motto Translation: Faith and fidelity
Shellay Family Crest Products