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My iterest in researching this family started in 1974 with a desire to learn "Where we came from." So my long journy began. I was so sure thatwe were IRISH and the name was originally McCaulley I bought a $25.00 McCaulley Family Crest / Plaque. ($25.00 was a LOT of money to a newly wed couple. That would buy almost 2 weeks of groceries). BOY, WAS I WRONG! As I delved into my family's records I found the marriage record of my great great grandparents using both the name CAULLY and CORLEY.
That document was my Rosetta-Stone! It showed me the TRUE spelling of my surname changed DRASTICALLY. (It's actually been spelled 47 different ways). I advertised in THE GENEALOGICAL HELPER Looking for an ALLEN CORLEY born in VA and living in southern Ohio. I received a QUICK reply from 2 dear ladies, Kledus Corley and Ila Eckstadt, who were SERIOUS Corley researchers. I will be forever in their debt. They set me on the right track.
This site is the culmination of all my research.
THE ORIGINS & MEANING OF CORLEY: According to Ancestry.com
"Irish: variant of Curley. (NOTE: OUR line is NOT Irish)
English: habitational name from (the village of) Corley in Warwickshire or Coreley in Shropshire, both named with Old English corna, a metathesized form of crona, genitive plural of cron, cran ‘crane’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’."
Three villages share this name in Warwickshire between Coventry and Birmingham. They are Corley, Corley Moor and Corley Ash. The village of Corley is quite old, having been documented in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book of 1086. (The village was called Cornelie in the Domesday Book).
It is MY belief that our roots come from an individual who was from the village of Corley, and was identified by his place of birth (example Richard of Corley). Thus, Corley became his surname. Over the next 500 years the number of his descendants grew and the moved away. I have found a LARGE number of Corleys on parish registers in Northamptonshire and on into Bedfordshire.
Taxable units: Taxable value 1 geld units.
Value: Value to lord in 1066 £0.5. Value to lord in 1086 £1.5.
Households: 4 villagers. 2 smallholders. 3 slaves.
Ploughland: 2 ploughlands (land for). 1 lord's plough teams. 2 men's plough teams.
Other resources: Meadow 6 acres. Woodland 0.25 * 0.125 leagues.
Lord in 1066: Godwin.
Lord in 1086: Godwin.
Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Godwin.
Phillimore reference: 44,14
The earliest CORLEY I have found in "The Colonies" is Richard Corley who was transported to Virginia Colony in 1675, as documented in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol II, pg 170
My research indicates this Richard was born in Riseley, Bedfordshire, England. He was most probably the son of John Corley(1595-1642) and Bridget Hills (1595-1643) and grand son of Richard Corley (1560-1622) and Idie ? (?-1603).
There were 2, possibly 3 generations of Richards in Virgina. Between 1675 and 1800 Richards descendants moved west and south. One of his descendants, John Corley (1695-1743) had 5 sons, John, Valentine, Richard and William. John, Richard and Robert moved to the Carolinas before the Revolutionary War while Valetine (my 5th great grandfather) remained in Virginia AND it's unknown what became of William.
On the 1940 census there were over 7000 just with the suname spelled Corley. This does not include thse using Caulley, Cauley, Cawley and Colley as their surname spellings.
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Copyright © 2018 Tom Caulley