Shiplee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Shiplee arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shiplee family lived in Derbyshire, at Shipley, from where they derived their name.

Alternatively, the name could have originated "from Shipley (pasture for sheep), the name of several places in England. " [1]

Early Origins of the Shiplee family

The surname Shiplee was first found in Derbyshire where they were granted the lands of Shipley, originally spelled Scipelie, by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Today Shipley is a township, in the parish of Heanor, union of Basford, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch. Shipley is also a township, in the parish of Eglingham, union of Alnwick, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of Northumberland and a parish, in the union of Horsham, hundred of West Grinstead, rape of Bramber, W. division of Sussex. [2]

"The ancient castle of Knap, here, which appears to have been founded in an early period of the Norman era, was visited by King John in 1206 and 1215, and was garrisoned during the Parliamentary War." [2]

One branch of the family may have originated in Shipley, a parish in West Riding of Yorkshire, three miles from Bradford or at Shepley, a township in the parish of Kirk Burton, West Riding of Yorkshire.

Interestingly, the Yorkshire Shipley occurs as Scipeleia in Domesday Book of 1086. [3]

"Both places seem to have been originally spelt Scheplay, so both Shepley and Shipley as surnames are now inextricably mixed." [4]

And it is Yorkshire where we find the first records of the family. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Katerine de Scheplay; Joanna de Scheplay; and Adam de Scheplay as all holding lands there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Shiplee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shiplee research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 176 and 1769 are included under the topic Early Shiplee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shiplee Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Shipley, Shiplie, Skiplie, Schipley and others.

Early Notables of the Shiplee family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Shiplee family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Shiplee name or one of its variants: Thomas Shipley, with his wife Elizabeth, and son and daughter, who settled in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1774; Robert Shipley settled in Barbados in 1671.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  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)


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