The Comley Family
Ancestors, relations and anything else!
Anything connected to my own family history, and not involving COMLEYs is now being moved to a separate page, here.
I have started a re-design of my website with (hopefully) improved navigation (but no flashy whistles and bells) and it can be found here.
I am researching the Comley family and variations of the name. This branch of my family (my mother’s maiden name was COMLEY) seem to have originated in Wiltshire but there are other areas nearby, in Gloucestershire and Berkshire/Oxfordshire with large numbers of COMLEYs.
Index page links:
COMLEYs by place
I was told by my mother that her surname was spelled as COMLEY, and not COMELY,
as a corruption of Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley), but looking back at records,
there is no evidence for this. I now believe that the -LEY spelling is probably
the oldest, but some branches became -ELY simply because of the way it was recorded
by priests and later, registrars. The name has been found as COMLEY, COMELEY,
COMELY, COMLY, COMBLY and even (on a birth certificate as the father’s name)
CRUMBLY! There are even more transcription errors, including, commonly, CORNLEY
– an obvious mis-read of rn for m.
In Hampshire, the name seems to have changed to COMLAY in the first half of the 1800s. More on this can be found at Bob Comlay's website.
Ancestry.com has the following:
What does the Comley name mean?
Last Name: Comley
English: habitational name, probably from Comley in Shropshire or Combley on the Isle of Wight; both are named with Old English cumb ‘valley’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’.
As I have found no COMLEYs originating in Shropshire, and only one reference (a will) on the Isle of Wight, the above should be taken with a big pinch of salt!
The oldest reference yet found to a COMLEY is in Bristol Record Office. The following is from the Online Catalogue:
Smyth family of Ashton Court
Manor of Elmington in Henbury, Gloucestershire.
Title Lease 1) William Champeneys of Aylminton' 2) Edward de Leye two acres and four strips (seillones) of land of which one acre lies in the `cultura' which is called Emenhulle between land of William fitzWarun and of Thomas de Bradewelle and one head extends to the land of lord Richard de Greynvile at Hulkestede and the other to the meadow of Aylminton' and one acre lies at E---brygge ? between meadow of lord Richard de Greynvile and of William fitzWarun' and land of Robert de Bradewelle and one head extends to land of Nicholas de Berewyk' and the other to land of lady Simonda de Oldebury and the four strips lie in the field of Cumptone between land of Nicholas de Berewyk' and of Torephym de Aylminton' and one head extends to the wood of the said William Champeneis; to hold for term of his life paying annually to Wm. and his heirs 2s. at the four usual terms. For this grant Edward gives 7 marks of silver. Clause of warranty against all men and women Witnesses: Robert de Comley Thomas de Styntescumbe Thomas de Amby Nicholas de Berewyk' Walter Randulf of Cumptone.
Date [late 13C.]
Nearly all the names given are in the form 'Someone of Somewhere' so is Comley a place somewhere in what is now North Bristol? It is possible that it is what is now known as Coombe Dingle. Was this once known as Coombe Leigh, reduced to Comley? If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!
Otherwise, the earliest references seem to be Gloucestershire, with Wiltshire (and an area near the Gloucestershire border) coming next.
Click on photos for larger pictures and details
|Elizabeth COMLEY, nee Harding, and children,
the Great grandmother of Roberta DeMott-Friberg
|Wedding of Harry John MEAD and Eleanor Margaret COMLEY|
|Name||Spouse||Birth||Spouse's birth||Marriage||Death||Spouse's Death|
|Joseph Comley||Mary Marsh||1794||1878||1822|
|Samuel Comley||Frances Judkins||1812||1837||1845|
|Mary Ann Bransgrove (nee Judkins)||1811||1855
|John Comley||Caroline Parsons||1817||1820||1842||1891||1893|
|James Comley||Jane Hall||1819||1843||1901||1846|
|Jacob Comley||Hannah Hedges||1820 approx||1847|
|Charles Comley||Mary Ann Davies||1821||1845|
|William Comley||Elizabeth Harding||1864|
|John Comley||Sarah Skull||1844|
|Jacob Comley||Mary Goulding (nee Holder)||1779||1847|
|Charles Comley||Lydia Kent||1817||1820||1855||1871-1881||1864|
|Jasper Comley||Mary Ann Eatwell||1822||1844||1881||1862|
|George Comley||Sarah Yearsley||1824||1825||1845||1871||1895|
|Edward Abree Comley||Louisa Emma Dockrell||1829||1829||1849||1862|
|John Comley||Angelina Fry||1864|
|Joshua Comley||Emma Tibbolds||1868|
|Mary Beechey Comley||Job Thomas||1870|
|Lander Elvin Comley||Martha Curnow||1877|
|Jacob Comley||Emma Jones||1879|
|William Comley||Sarah Ann Douglis||1879|
|William Comley||Ann Elizabeth Saunders||1831||1834||1858||1907||1874|
|James Comley||Mary Pierce Fuller||1838||1861|
|John Muspratt Comley||1838|
|James Comley||Emma Harding||1839||1875|
|George Comley||Mary Cole||1840||1839||1863|
|George Comley||Rosanna Fitz||1841||1841||1860||1896||1891|
|Sophia Comley||Stephen Fuller||1841|
|Joseph James Comley||1843||1888|
|Susannah Jane Comley||1843|
|Jonah Weston Comley||1845||1845|
|Edward Comley||Ann Stevens||1846||1867|
|George Daniel Comley||Louisa Bailey||1846||1845||1868|
|William Comley||Elizabeth Humphries||1846||1847||1870|
|James Edward Comley||1852|
|Mary Ann Henrietta Comley||Henry William Dainty||1854||1871|
|Harry Helton Comley||Eliza Ann Garner||1885|
|Henry James Comley (indexed as Cowley)||1865|
|Ernest William Comley||1871|
|William Josiah Comley||Edith Katharine Bird||1886||1914||1975||1953|
|Leonard Dudley Comley||1888|
|Winifred Annie Comley||1889|
|Helen Muriel Comley||1894|
|Alan Victor Comley||1896|
|Harry Helton Comley||1913|
These have now been moved to a separate page
|Transcriptions of Wills|
|Johannes Comley||of Corsham 1638|
|Aldeme Comley||of Broad Somerford, 1652|
|Thomas Comley||of Broad Somerford, 1723|
|Theophilus Comley||of Great Somerford, 1763|
|James Comley||of Weston Birt, 1775|
|Robert Comley||of Weston Birt, 1796 (buried at Elberton)|
|John Comley||of Cowhill, Thornbury, 1796 (buried at Westonbirt)|
|William Comley||of Nettleton, 1800|
|John Comley||of Didmarton, 1806|
|William Comley||of Marshfield, 1832|
|Jane Comley||of Southamton, 1845|
|John Comley||Bootmaker, of St James, Westminster, 1846|
COMLEYs found by Country, County and Place:
Index of Wills from National Probate Calendar:
The index of names will now be found on the Wills page
Brian Beeche Comley has transcribed a number of these from the University of Leicester's Historical Directories website and they can be found by clicking here
Where I have found extra relating to specific individuals, there will be links to them.
|James Comley (1819)|
'The Lord's dealings' - a book written by James Comley, published in 1857
Music - James wrote the tune 'Malmesbury Abbey' used for A&M Hymn 'Six Days of Labour now are past'.
This can be heard at Cyber-Hymnal
Photographer - there is a 'carte de visite' by James Comley on Roger Vaughan's site
Front of photo Back of photo.
|Harry Helton Comley (1863)|
'In memoriam cards'
|Ann Beechey (1817)|
|Who was she?|
|George Comley (1821)|
|Divorce from Louisa Caroline Comley, nee Harlow|
This is a set of books listing all known members of Oxford University from 1500 to 1886. For further information see Archive CD Books, where they are available on CDs. All the following are from the first set (1500-1714). No COMLEYs were listed in the second set (1715-1886)
The following COMLEYs are listed:
|Comley, Henry||of co. Hereford. GLOUCESTER HALL, matric. 22 Nov., 1581, aged 18|
|Comley, James (Comly)||'seru.,' pleb. BALLIOL COLL., matric 23 Feb., 1647-8, aged 16|
|Comley, John (Comeley)||of co. Gloucester, pleb. GLOUCESTER HALL, matric 12 April, 1594, aged 19|
|Comley, Richard|| 'serviens,' of co. Gloucester. ST JOHN'S COLL., matric.
Nov., 1581, aged 15:
administration to a bachelor of these names, granted at Oxford 19 Nov., 1632
Canadian Expeditionary Force, WWI
The Canadian Government has scanned, and published on the web, the attestation papers of most of those who signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War One. Both front and back of the papers are shown.
The following COMLEYs are listed:
|Name||D.O.B.||Place of birth||Next of kin||Relationship|
|Edgar Henry Comley||14/5/1895||Swindon, England||Mrs Ada Comley||Mother||FRONT|
|Arthur Edwin Comley||29/6/1897||Swindon, Wiltshire||Edwin Comley||Father||FRONT|
|Francis Edward Comley||14/5/1884||Collingwood, Ont||Elizabeth Comley||Mother||FRONT||BACK|
|Frank Comley||10/9/1881||Broadtown, Wilts||Wm Comley||Brother||FRONT||BACK|
|Frank Comley||29/11/1897||Clifanety, Wilts||Mrs Comley (Helen)||Mother||FRONT||BACK|
|Frederick George Comley||16/1/1876||Chippenham, Wilts||Mrs Elizabeth Comley||Not given||FRONT||BACK|
|George Comley||26/2/1890||Ogmore Valley, Glam||George Comley||Father||FRONT||BACK|
|Percy Richard Comley||30/8/1896||Chippenham, Wilts||Fred Comley||Father||FRONT||BACK|
|William John Comley||22/9/1892||Stockton, Yorks||William John Comley||Father||FRONT||BACK|
|Arthur Comley, aka Arthur Matthews||No details given|
Comleys who served in the Wiltshire Militia:
|Comley, Isaac||Chippenham||22 May 1894||25 years|
|Comley, James||Mordon, Swindon||30 Oct 1895||17 years 9 months|
|Comley, John||Cleve, Wootton Bassett||28 Dec 1893||18 years 1 months|
|Comley, John||Bradford, Wilts||19 Jan 1899||18 years|
|Comley, Richard||Wootton Bassett||19 July 1893||17 years 10 months|
|Comley, Robert||Wootton Bassett||26 Jan 1898||18 years 3 months|
|Comley, William||Wootton Bassett||11 Nov 1887||18 years|
|Comely, John||Swindon||26 Jan 1907||30 years 4 months|
|Combley, Isaac||Chippenham||9 Apr 1888||17 years 6 months|
Old Bailey Proceedings:
Henry and Edmund Comley 1828
James Comley a constable, 1801
James Comley, Beadle of Queenhithe Ward, 1804
James Comley, Beadle of Queenhithe Ward, 1805
James Comley, Beadle of Queenhithe Ward, 1805
Gedcoms files are loaded on WorldConnect. There should not be any living persons shown.
Click for my Comley Gedcom on WorldConnect site. This has all Comleys, with the exception of those related to me, that I have found so far, with descendants.
Click for my Mead Gedcom on WorldConnect site. This has all ancestors including COMLEYS with a connection to me
There is a mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Comley surname and variations in any place and at any time. To subscribe send "subscribe" as both subject and message to (mail mode) or (digest mode) or use the buttons above. You are unlikely to be inundated with e-mails from this list - it is fairly quiet!An archive of previous messages can be viewed.
It is intended to include some of my other ancestor details here as well – it may lead to other links turning up and brick walls being demolished!
Page updated: 23/07/12