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Our 2,728 members have registered
2,389 study surnames with us
and a further 6,077 variant names.

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About the study

The Galley one-name study began as a result of genealogical research into my own Galley ancestry. Prior to this, my research was confined to my immediate family and Galley ancestors in the United Kingdom. Over a period of about 20 years, it became evident that limiting my research to my immediate family tree was not practical, and I began researching Galley families in various locations in Canada and the U.K.. It now appears that through a One-Name Study, world-wide connections may be made which will help anyone with the Galley surname further their research.

Variant names

Gally, Gallie, Galli, LeGally, LeGalley

Name origin

The English surname Galley is of occupational origin, being derived from the work, trade or profession of the original bearer. In this instance, the surname Galley signifies 'one who worked as the seaman, the galleyman, the rower.' The occupational name Galley is derived from Middle English 'galye', from the Old French 'galie' meaning 'ship' or 'barge'. Alternatively, the surname Galley is a variant of the nickname and local name Galilee. In this case, the surname Galley signifies 'one who was nicknamed Galilee,' named for someone who had been on a pilgrimage to Galilee in the Holy Land or 'dweller at the Galilee,' from the Old French 'Galilee' meaning 'porch or chapel at the entrance to a church.' A galilee exits at Lincoln, Ely, and Durham cathedrals. Finally, the surname Galley is a variant form of the Scottish surnames Gally and Gallie. These names are also of nickname origin, being derived from the Gaelic 'gallaich' meaning 'stranger or lowlander.' The name was applied to the lowland Englishmen and Norsemen who were strangers in Scotland.

Name frequency

The Galley surname appears most frequently in Switzerland, with a frequency per million (FPM) people of 104.13. The surname appears in the following countries in order of frequency: United Kingdom - 34.89; Canada - 21.78; New Zealand - 19.75; and Australia - 19.16


I currently hold a limited number of Parish Register microfiches for the following Parishes in Essex, England: Barking; Braintree; Coggeshall; Great Ilford; Great Leighs; Halstead; Kelvedon; and Stisted. I also hold microfiches for the following: Bugbrooke, Northants; Kirtling and Soham, Cambs; and Great Paxton, Hunts.


I have pariticpated in a Paternal Lineage Test through, and have been advised that my paternal haplogroup is R1b. To date, I have been unable to establish any DNA connections closer than 15 generations.


Retained study profile

This study is no longer registered with the Guild, but this profile page has been retained at the member's request. Please note that neither officers nor members of the Guild are able to answer any questions about this study.