The name Topley came to England
with the ancestors of the Topley family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Topley family lived in Yorkshire
. The name is derived from a combination of the Old English personal name Topp,
and the word leah,
meaning wood or clearing,
and indicates that the original bearer lived near a wood or clearing owned by someone named Topp.
Early Origins of the Topley family
The surname Topley was first found in Yorkshire
where they are conjecturally descended from a junior branch of the Percys. Topcliff or Topclive was granted to a Norman Baron
named William Percy who later became the Earl of Northumberland
and one of the most senior mighty nobles of the land. At the time of the Conquest, Topcliff consisted of a church and a mill on the side of the banks of the River Swale.
Early History of the Topley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Topley research.Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1391, 1832, 1834, 1451, 1740 and 1778 are included under the topic Early Topley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Topley Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Topley are characterized by many spelling variations
. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Topley include Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.
Early Notables of the Topley family (pre 1700)
Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Topley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Topley family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England
at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia
in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Topley, or a variant listed above:
Topley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Martha Topley, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Topley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Henry Topley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1866
- Thomas Topley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1867
Contemporary Notables of the name Topley (post 1700)
- Lady Sophia Topley (b. 1957),
- William Whiteman Carlton Topley FRS (1886-1944), British bacteriologist
- William Topley FRS (1841-1894), British geologist
- William James Topley (1845-1930), Canadian photographer