This surname SEELYE was derived from the Old English word 'saelig' a name meaning one who was happy and blessed. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), king of England from 1066. He was born in Failaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, king of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had assumed the title of King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the king's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. William Seley of County Oxford was such a tenant, as was Roger le Seli in County Hereford. Richard Seli, appears in London in 1200, and William Sely was documented in County Norfolk in 1273. Sely atte Burgh was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and William Seley of County Somerset, appears in 1400. John Symonds and Anne Seley were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1618, and William Stanmore married Margaret Seely at the same church in 1621. William Jeffrey, son of Jeffrey Sealy was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1760. The name was taken to Ireland by early settlers, and is mainly on record there in Kerry and Cork. The name in Gaelic is SAELIG.
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