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Surname Jelley - Meaning and Origin

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Jelley: What does the surname Jelley mean?

The surname Jelley is of English origin and is derived from the Old English world for 'a stream downhill'. It is believed to have been first given to someone who lived near a small stream in the Middle Ages.

The name itself is believed to have been originally derived from the word 'gella', a British Celtic reference to a stream. Historians have suggested that Jelley was the most common of Early Medieval English and Norman surnames, found mostly in the south of England between the 6th and 12th centuries.

The name Jelley is thought to have been brought to America during immigration periods in the late 18th and 19th centuries, when people fled from England seeking a better life. This is evidenced by the fact that there are many variations of the name, such as Jelly, Jelie, Jellis, and Jelley, among others.

Today, the Jelley surname is widely used in countries throughout the world. While the prefix may differ from place to place, its meaning remains the same. As such, Jelleys will often choose nicknames such as Jel, Jell, and Jells for their given name.

Overall, the last name Jelley is a powerful one, with a long history that is rooted in England and has spread throughout the world. Its meaning of a stream downhill provides a sense of strength and resilience and its legacy will live on.

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Jelley: Where does the name Jelley come from?

The last name Jelley is most prominent in the United Kingdom. The UK is home to a large proportion of the estimated 4,400 people in the world with the Jelley family name. The greatest concentration of the name exists in Nottinghamshire, just east of Birmingham, where there are over 500 Jelley families. Here, records indicate that the name has been present since 1319. Records also suggest a link to Derbyshire, where the earliest known Jelleys were recorded in the 1400s.

The Jelley name is additionally seen in smaller numbers in other parts of the UK, as well as other parts of Europe and the United States. While the largest number of Jelleys remain in Nottinghamshire, communities of Jelleys are found as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Scotland in the UK, and in Germany, Spain, and Northern Ireland as well.

In the United States, there are a few hundred Jelley families, with the largest concentrations near Boston and Philadelphia. The name is particularly prominent in the northeastern US, with additional pockets in Pennsylvania, California, and, fittingly, Jellystone Park in Minnesota. With the rising number of emigrants from the UK and Europe, the Jelley name can be expected to continue to grow in the US and beyond.

Variations of the surname Jelley

The surname Jelley is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the Old English personal name 'Giela'. Variants of this surname include Jelle, Jelley, Jelleys, Gelli, Gilli, Gilly, and Gellie.

Jelle or Jell is the Dutch spelling of the surname, and is most commonly seen in Dutch and Flemish communities. Jelley was the spelling used predominantly in England during the 1600-1900s. Gelli or Gelly is the Welsh spelling, Gilli and Gilly the Irish spellings, and Gellie the Scottish spelling.

Other surnames with origins related to the Jelley surname include Gedley, Jellet, Jelsom,Jelks, Gill, Gilliland, Gillis, Gell, Gellatly, Giles, Geel, Gellman, Delete and Delley. The connections may be through shared family lineages or the adoption of similar spelling variations.

A variant of the Jelley surname is Jelleyman and is commonly seen in the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire in England. The Jelleyman surname could be traced back to the late 13th Century and is borne by at least three families residing in this area.

Jelley is also a variant form of the surname Jelly, from the French='Geli' or 'Gelé'. Variations of this surname include Jelle, Jele, Jelley, Jelleys, Jelles, Jewel and Jailes.

Overall, there are a several different spellings and surnames with similar origins as the Jelley surname, reflecting the diversity of the times and the many cultures involved.

Famous people with the name Jelley

  • Albon Jelley: An American track and field athlete who competed in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1932 Summer Olympics.
  • Anthony Jelley : An English diving athlete and artist. He was a bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics.
  • Lloyd Jelley : An American football coach who led the University of Minnesota from 1920 to 1921.
  • Chris Jelley : An English rugby union player for the Scarlets.
  • Caleb Jelley : An Australian rugby league player for the Brisbane Broncos.
  • Mark Jelley : An American professional baseball player who played for the Colorado Rockies in 2004.
  • John Jelley : An English painter, illustrator, and sculptor.
  • Susan Jelley : An American actress, best known for appearances in the 1981 film Private Benjamin and as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars radio dramas.
  • Richard Jelley : An Australian ballet dancer and former professional hockey player.
  • Bill Jelley : An American soccer player who played most of his career for the Taylor Lawmakers of the National Professional Soccer League.

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