Cilley Family

Cilley Family

by J. P. Cilley


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Cilley Family

By JP Cilley


Some of the family object to the implied derivation of the name in my first article, and refer me to the Scilly Isles, formerly spelled Silly, Silley, and Scilley, and whose old British appellation was Syllah, signifying "rock consecrated to the sun."

I am also referred to a rare pamphlet, in the Philadelphia Library, by Francis Gawler, London, 1659. On page 271 of the volume and 21 of the pamphlet, entitled "A Record of some persecutions inflicted upon some of the Servants of the Lord in South wales," &c.,--meaning Quakers,--appears the following incidental mention of the name: "Again Mary Richard and Mary Moss of Pennarth in Cilley for clearing their conscience to John Cutts, Priest were haled, and beaten and drawn up a pair of stairs and their feet in the stocks by the Constable and Priestman."

This is in the vicinity of the supposed origin of the family in Somerset Co., Eng., and with the fact, that the families of Cutts and Cilley were contemporary in NH, may account for the name. Others insist on the authority of Burke, that the name is of Northman origin, and pursue a zigzag course through the Oxford Chronological tables and the Advent of Saxons into Normandy till they place themselves in Germany and pounce on the town of Cilli,--spelled also Cilly and Cilley,-- in the Southern part of Styria, and commence the genealogy thusly.

But when we read that the 2 Barbarra, for her libertine conduct was called the German Messlaina, and is described by an Austrian historian as "one who believed neither God, angels or devil--neither hell or heaven," and consider the trouble of the family might make in Europe by claiming their rights of succession, we turn with infinite relief to the fisherman magistrate of the Isles of Shoals and make peace in the family by saying that the undoubted origin of the name was from the amphibious occupations of its early members as fishermen and mariners, called Sea-ly (sea-like). It thus appears on the early records of the Isles of Shoals, written in a bold and very legible manner.

When the owners of the name left the sea for the land, the spelling of the name for two or three generations floundered about like a fish out of water, until Gen. Cilley, by his revolutionary fame, anchored it as Cilley.

I have been unable to connect the Isles of Shoals Sealys with Capt. Robert Seely, though it is evident they came from...


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628452433
Publisher: Windham Press
Publication date: 10/28/2013
Pages: 50
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.10(d)

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