Sillay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Sillay reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sillay family lived in Devon. Ancient records reveal the name Sillay is derived from the Old English word saelig, meaning one who is happy and blessed.
Early Origins of the Sillay family
The surname Sillay was first found in Devon where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were Lords of the manor of Rackenford, and were conjecturally descended from Jocelyn who held the lands at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 A.D. from Baldwin, the Sheriff. The family may have originated in Cornwall as in "John Silly, gentleman of St. Wenn, altered his name from Ceely to Silly."  No dates were given with the previous quote. However, we did find another note about the family in the parish of Helland, Cornwall. "Another barton called Kernick, which was for some time the residence of a family called Silly, became the property of Sir John Morshead." 
One of the earliest records of the name was Henry de Sully (or Soilli) (died 1195), was a medieval monk, prior of Bermondsey Abbey in 1186, Bishop of Worcester (1193-1195) and Abbot of Glastonbury.
William, Count of Sully, also known as William the Simple (c. 1085-c. 1150) was Count of Blois and Count of Chartres from 1102 to 1107, and jure uxoris Count of Sully. William was the eldest son of Stephen-Henry, Count of Blois and Adela of Normandy, daughter of William the Conqueror. In 1104, William married Agnes of Sully, the heiress to the lordship of Sully-sur-Loire. Together they had six children including Henry de Sully (died 1189), the medieval Abbot of Fécamp and Bishop-designate of Salisbury and Archbishop-elect of York in 1140.
Over in France, Maurice de Sully (died 1196) was Bishop of Paris from 1160 until his death. He is best known for overseeing the building of Notre Dame Catherdaral.
Early History of the Sillay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sillay research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1361, 1283, 1388, 1680, 1729 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Sillay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sillay 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 Sillay family name include Silley, Silly, Cele, Sully, Silliman and others.
Early Notables of the Sillay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Sully (born c.1283-c.1388), of Ruxford and Iddesleigh in Devonshire, an English knight. The family were traditional lords of the manor of Iddesleigh in Devonshire. He was noted for giving evidence in Scrope v Grosvenor, one of the earliest heraldic law cases brought in England. At the time, it is claimed that his age was 105. Henry...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sillay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sillay migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Sillay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Lieut. Col. Sillay, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand heading for Wellington on 16th April 1857 
- Mrs. Sillay, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand heading for Wellington on 16th April 1857 
- Mr. Sillay, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand heading for Wellington on 16th April 1857 
- Miss Sillay, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand heading for Wellington on 16th April 1857 
Related Stories +
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html