Weleslay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The earliest origins of the name Weleslay date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from the common diminutive of the popular name Nicholas. Col was a common diminutive of the popular name Nicholas. The form Weleslay was particularly popular in Yorkshire. Nicholas was the name of a popular saint from the fourth century, and was given to many children in England in the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Weleslay family
The surname Weleslay was first found in Gloucestershire at Coaley, a village in the union of Dursley, Upper division of the hundred of Berkeley which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Couelege and was held by King William.  The place name literally means "clearing with a hut or shelter," from the Old English "cofa" + "leah." 
Alternatively, the name could have originated in Yorkshire as by the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, the following were listed: Adam Coly; Agnes Coly; Rogeris Coly; and Willelmus Coiley as all holding lands there at that time. 
John Colley (fl. 1440), was an early theological writer, "a member of the Carmelite convent at Doncaster. He is said to have been an elegant Latin writer and an eloquent preacher." 
Early History of the Weleslay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Weleslay research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1513, 1560, 1554, 1633, 1695, 1633, 1585, 1637, 1621, 1674, 1648, 1700, 1698, 1699, 1685, 1723 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Weleslay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Weleslay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Weleslay include Colly, Colley, Collie, Caullie, Caulley, Caully, Coully, Coulley and many more.
Early Notables of the Weleslay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Colly (c. 1513-1560), of Dover, Kent, an English politician, Member of Parliament for Dover in 1554.
Henry Coley (1633-1695?), was a mathematician and...
Migration of the Weleslay family to Ireland
Some of the Weleslay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Weleslay family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Weleslay or a variant listed above: Thomas Colley and his family who settled in Barbados in 1680; and three years later John Colley and his wife Susan moved to Philadelphia.