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Morley of Normanby (Middlesborough)

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no known test candidates
Theorised origin
Yorkshire or County Durham
Possible offshoot of
External resources
First recorded
Ormesby, Yorkshire
Normanby, Yorkshire
Longest association
245 years
Ormesby, Yorkshire
Last recorded
Ormesby, Yorkshire
Marker Count
Possible offshoots
Markers last changed
There are many Morley families with North Yorkshire ancestry. We haven't examined North Riding Morley families' genealogies very closely, but it seems possible that many tie in with the Normanby Morleys.
The Morley Y-DNA project would greatly welcome participation from male Morleys with North Riding or Cleveland  origins. It would fill in a coverage gap between the West/South Riding Morleys to the south and the Marleys and Moralees to the north.


The link between Berkhamsted and Normanby is claimed in a Hertfordshire visitation pedigree, and there is primary evidence to support this: James Morley appears a 1605 land transaction involving Normanby and Ormesby, with his (future?) father-in-law Henry Drake (a Cursitor of the Court of Chancery) as a counterparty [Yorkshire Stuart Fines, vol. I, p. 41]. Later, in 1612, James Morley (now himself a cursitor of the Court of Chancery) is involved in transactions in Maltby and nearby Newby and Seamer (with his wife Elizabeth involved in the latter) [ibid., p. 181]. James heads the 1634 Hertford visitation pedigree, styled as "of Barkhampsted, co. Hertf., one of the six Clarks of the Chancery, 1635".

James was dead by 1656. Elizabeth Morley, widow, was administrator. Elizabeth was dead by 1659, when Henry Morley took over administration [YAS vol. I (1885) p. 249].


There were later Morleys in Berkhamsted, not yet connected with the family mentioned in the visitation:

The same Hertfordshire visitation pedigree claims that the Morleys of Normanby were descended from one "S'r Henery Morley of Hertkeild in the County of Durham", temp. Henry III and present at the Battle of Lewes. I initially suggested that this Henry could have been confused with Henry de Maulay [Benjamin L Wild, A Captive King: Henry III between the Battles of Lewis and Evesham, 1264-5, Thirteenth Century England XIII: Proceedings of the Paris Conference 2009, p. 43]. Indeed, a Peter de Mauley was a sub-tenant at Stainsby in 1367 ['Parishes: Stainton', A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2 (1923), pp. 293-300]. That suggestion was before I found Alan Swindale's notes on Hertkeld, which indicate (citing Bishop Hatfield's survey) that Sir Henry de Merley of Hertkeld was a knight bachelor present at the battle of Lewes, and that Hertkeld is probably near present-day Howden-le-Wear.

Whatever the identity of Henry, the generations between Henry and Nicholas Morley (fl. 1434) are not stated. The arms incorporate a Jessant-de-lis, with a golden crescent for difference. Traditionally this is the cadency mark of a second son. And the Jessant-de-lis arms are more closely associated with the Morleys of Wennington (and families claiming descent from them).

Harry Speight mentions on the heraldic similarities between the Normanby and Wennington Morleys. (Whether he is correct in assigning the jessant-de-lis arms to the Tadcaster Morleys is still an open question.) He also remarks on the Catherine wheel quartering used by the Newton-upon-Ouse Morleys. Since the Berkhampstead Morleys also used this quartering, it must predate the most recent common ancestor of the Newton-upon-Ouse and Berkhamstead Morleys: Cuthbert Morley, husband of Ann Thornaby and Isabel Wilson. Speight annotates the Catherine wheel remark with "see Dodson of Kirkby Overblow". If he is referring to the Dodson pedigree from his Kirkby Overblow book, I fail to see the connection. The closest match I have found to the Catherine wheel coat of arms is the one assigned to the Cartington family, but their wheels are or rather than argent. The third quartering in the Newton-upon-Ouse Morley arms belongs to the Maltby family. The fourth quartering is similar to arms borne by the Seymour family.

In 1449, John de Morley and Nicholas Morley, amongst others, were commissioned to collect a tax in the North Riding of Yorkshire [CFR xviii, p. 128]. Three years earlier, one John Morley had been commisioned for the same purpose in Lancashire [ibid., p. 41].

Nicholas and John appear, with John's wife, in a 1456 final concord. The wording of the agreement seems to indicate that these lands came from Agnes' side of the family.


Surname: Morley
Title Start Year End Year Added Updated
Ormesby, Yorkshire
1439 1684 2013-05-04 2013-05-04
Normanby, Yorkshire
1439 1665 2013-05-04 2013-05-04
Thornaby in Cleveland, Yorkshire
1584 1584 2013-05-04 2013-05-04
Maltby, Yorkshire
1587 1587 2014-06-03 2014-06-03
Thornton and Stainton, Yorkshire
1598 1598 2013-05-04 2013-05-04
York, Yorkshire
1600 1665 2013-02-04 2013-02-04
Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
1600 1665 2013-02-04 2013-02-04
Newton on Ouse, Yorkshire
1620 1665 2013-02-04 2013-02-04
Hawnby, Yorkshire
1624 1669 2013-02-04 2013-02-04
Dublin, Ireland
1650 1674 2020-03-19 2020-03-19


The following forums may contain discussion relevant to this family group:

Forum: North Riding of Yorkshire

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Forum: The Ainsty of York

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