Last name: Seeley

This interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is primarily a nickname surname from the use of the Olde English pre 7th Century word "saelig", a derivative of "sael", meaning happiness, good fortune, used as a term to describe someone with a cheerful, happy disposition. The Middle English development was to "seely", meaning happy, fortunate, which became a surname as early as the 13th Century (see below). Occasionally, the word was used as a female personal name during the Middle Ages, recorded as "Sela" in 1219, and as "Sely" in 1221, and this may have been the source for some bearers of the modern surname, which has at least seventeen variant forms, ranging from, Seal(l)y, Seel(e)y and Sill(e)y, to Ceel(e)y and Zeal(e)y. The sense of "pitiable", which developed into the modern English "silly", is a later 15th Century usage. On October 3rd 1566, Isaak, son of Nicholas Seeley, was christened at Holy Trinity in the Minories, London, and William Seely, aged 29 yrs., was an early settler in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Alexander", bound for the Barbadoes in May 1635. A notable namebearer was Sir John Robert Seeley (1834 - 1895), who was chief classical assistant at the City of London School in 1859, and was professor of modern history at Cambridge from 1869 - 1895. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Seli, which was dated circa 1200, in the "Gilbertine Charters of London", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

Jonathan Seeley
I honestly did not know that my name was from that long ago...

Ryan Seeley
My name is Ryan Robert Seeley from the UK, I have a line of Robert Seeley's in my family. This appears to be a trend right across the Seeley spectrum. Hi to all you other Seeley's out there!!!

Marissa (Seeley) Elliott
My Grandad was Robert Seeley. My grandma was Mary Lee Seeley. Uncle John Seeley. The trend continues. I thought my dad's side of the family was of German origin. I'm not sure now.

Marissa (Seeley) Elliott
I forgot to say that I am in Texas. My grandparents lived in Pearland, Texas when I was very small. My grandad was a highly skilled painter, and a truly kind man. I wish I knew more.

Travis Seeley
My name Is travis Seeley, I wish I knew more about my family history.

susan seeley
hi all i have is that my grandad was born in Canada but he married and went to live in Ireland and married my grandmar Cathleen seeley(MACDONNELL)

dave seeley
My name is Dave Seeley and I was born and live in London. My father is William Hebert Seeley and his father was Philip Seeley, both born in Bungay in Norfolk. Philips father (name escapes me) was a jockey working in newmarket. his origin is unknown.

Tom P
My mother was a Seeley, my grandfather, Richard, came to Illinois from Ireland in the 1880's or 1890's. His father's name was John.

Rebecca Seeley
I am from Indiana (US). It is so interesting that all of us could some how be related from a common ancestor! But we all are from different parts of the world. Our name is strong and spreads successfully!!

Wayde Seeley
My grandfather was Daniel Seeley died as of 2004 I believe ... Weird the name goes so far back ...

steven seeley
My dads name is Richard seeley and my grandfather name is John seeley, how very strange to read that there names are two of the oldest in the line.

Mrs seeley
Married into Seeley family 1998, Jack Seeley is my grandfather-in-law, 90 ish, still going reasonably strong, Coventry UK, a family of seeley boys, I have 2, to carry on this great name. So proud.

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