The history of the Zellay name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from happy person who had good fortune
. It is derive from the Old English word saelig,
meaning happy and blessed. CITATION[CLOSE]
Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
Early listings of the name was typically seen a "sely" and "seli" and was referenced at least twice in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:
"For sely is that deth, soth for to seyne, That, ofte y- cleped, com'th and endeth peyne"; and
"That Nicholas shal shapen hym a wyle This sely, jalous housbonde to bigyle."
Early Origins of the Zellay family
The surname Zellay was first found in Somerset
where the first listings of name were found as a personal name: Sely atte
Bergh; Sely Percy; and Sely Scury. All were found in Kirby's Quest temp.
1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. CITATION[CLOSE]
Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
The one exception of the aforementioned was William Sely.
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has some interesting entries too: William Sely in Oxfordshire; Egidius Sely in Norfolk; and John Sely in Gloucestershire. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Zellay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zellay research.Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1618, 1621, 1760, 1602, 1668 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Zellay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Zellay Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Zellay family name include Cely, Ceeley, Celey, Ceely, Ceiley, Seely, Seeley and others.
Early Notables of the Zellay family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zellay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Zellay family to Ireland
Some of the Zellay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 156 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Zellay family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Zellay surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Robert Seely, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet; William Seely, who came to Barbados in 1635; John Seely, who came to Virginia in 1654.