Sooley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sooley is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sooley family lived in Derbyshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Subligny, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Sooley family

The surname Sooley was first found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They were descended from a noble who accompanied King William whose home in Normandy was at Subligny near Avranche. Richard Subligny was Bishop of Avranches. They acquired considerable estates in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset by marriage with the Painells, but their main estates were at Newton Solney which later became Soley, and Sola.

" The men of Sole," according to Wace, were conspicuous at the battle of Hastings, " striking at close quarters, and holding their shields over their heads so as to receive the blows of the hatchet." The fief of Soules was held of the Honour of St. Lo at the time of the Conquest; but was soon afterwards granted to the chapter of Bayeux.Under Henry IL, there was a William de Soules who held three knights' fees in Normandy; two of them in the Comte of Mortaine[1]

The Kentish family of this name (of whom John de Soles bought Betshanger in 1347) derived it from the manor of Soles (Domesday) in the parish of Nonington. This family was in early times most powerful in Scotland, where it gave its name to the barony of Soulistoun - now Saltoun - in East Lothian. Ranulph de Soulis witnesses a Stirling charter of David I.: and either he, or one of his successors, is styled Pincerna Regis. They were frequent benefactors to Newbottle Abbey and other monasteries; and " their power," says Sir Walter Scott, "extended over the South and West Marches, where they appear to have possessed the whole district of Liddesdale, with five rich baronies in Roxburghshire.[1]

Early History of the Sooley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sooley research. Another 270 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1291, 1318, 1300, 1302, 1595 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Sooley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sooley 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 Sooley include Sola, Soul, Soule, Sole, Sooley, Soole, Solley, Sollee, Soully, Sully, Soley, Solney and many more.

Early Notables of the Sooley family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Sooley family to Ireland

Some of the Sooley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sooley migration to the United States +

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 Sooleys to arrive on North American shores:

Sooley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John C. Sooley, aged 49, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Martin Sooley, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Sooley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry W. Sooley, aged 32, who settled in America, in 1903

Canada Sooley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sooley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Sooley, who settled in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland in 1780 [2]
Sooley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Alfred Sooley, who settled in Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1814 [2]
  • John Sooley, who settled in Heart's Delight, Newfoundland in 1823 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sooley (post 1700) +

  • Howard Sooley (b. 1993), American actor, best known for his role in Wittgenstein


  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0


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