Valley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Valley is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Valley family lived in Northumberland. Their name, however, is a reference to La Val, in the lower Marne valley of Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old French word val, meaning valley.

The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listed Roger de la Vale in Normandy in 1180. [1]

Early Origins of the Valley family

The surname Valley was first found in Northumberland where they were granted land by William the Conqueror. The family were originally known as Delaval and took their name from the Castle of La Val in the lower Marne valley in Normandy.

Some of the first records of the family were found north, in Scotland. "About 1190 Gilbert de la Val witnessed a charter by William de Hauekeristone of certain lands in the territory of Innerwick to the Abbey of Kelso. " [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Eustace del Val and Hugh de la Val as holding lands in Northumberland at that time. [3]

Early History of the Valley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Valley research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1364, 1655, 1604, 1578, 1582, 1582 and 1583 are included under the topic Early Valley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Valley Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Vale, Vail, Veil, Fale, Fail and others.

Early Notables of the Valley family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Valley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Valley family to Ireland

Some of the Valley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Valley migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Valley or a variant listed above:

Valley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Valley, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [4]
  • John Valley, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [4]
  • Margaret Valley, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [4]
  • Rachel Valley, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [4]
  • Thomas Valley, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [4]

New Zealand Valley 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:

Valley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Valley, Australian settler travelling from Melbourne, Victoria aboard the ship "Drover" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 27th February 1860 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Valley (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Valley Sr., American politician, Delegate to Nebraska State Constitutional Convention, 1875 [6]
  • Charles E. Valley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine, 1916 [6]
  • Bruce Valley, American politician, Independent Candidate for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, 1986 [6]


The Valley 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: In te domine speravi
Motto Translation: In thee, O Lord, I have placed my hope.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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