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Paisley Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: BE SURE

Allow me to share with you the rich tapestry of your family’s history—the Paisleys—a lineage woven intricately with the lands and legacy of Paisley. The name resonates with the echoes of time, originating from the very barony and lands that share its name. These lands have seen the rise of a great abbey, bearing witness to the stories of generations past. The name itself carries the essence of an ancient kingdom, Strathclyde, a realm that found its heart in Dumbarton and later Govan, ultimately becoming part of Scotland’s tapestry in the 1050s.

The origins of the name Paisley trace back to the Brythonic language of the Old Welsh, whispering of slopes for pasturing or, perhaps more fittingly considering the prominence of the abbey, a “basilica,” signifying a great church. As Saint Mirin’s founding of the settlement in the sixth or seventh century echoes through time, it ties a delicate thread to your family’s roots within this ancient Strathclyde realm.

The annals of history grant us glimpses of your family’s presence. In the time of William the Lion, charters bear the witness of William Passelew, marking the years between 1179 and 1190. William de Passelet’s name adorns a charter granted by Alan, son of Walter the Steward, to the abbey around 1150. Dominus John de Passelet, a Canon of Glasgow Cathedral, etches his presence into history through his witnessing of a gift in 1320. The family’s name, spelled in various forms, reaches even as far as Dumfriesshire, where the Pasleys of Craig near Langholm garnered recognition. Admiral Thomas Pasley’s valor in 1794, known as ‘the Glorious First of June,’ crowns their legacy with distinction.

General Sir Charles Pasley, a luminary in the realm of military engineering, left an indelible mark. Corunna’s battle in 1809 saw his mettle alongside Sir John Moore, and his influence led to the establishment of the Royal School of Military Engineering at Chatham. His son’s stewardship in the building of the Houses of Parliament and other public edifices in Australia’s Victoria state paints a legacy that spans oceans.

The Paisley Baronets of Craig stand testament to the family’s enduring presence, their story reaching beyond the pages of history into modern times. A tartan, a symbol of unity, was designed in 1952, while the creation of a family society in 1988, under Paisley of Westerlea’s leadership, seeks to bridge the gaps that geography may have woven. This society serves as a bridge connecting Paisleys scattered across the world to their roots, a testament to the unbreakable bond that ties family to the homeland in the west of Scotland.

In the tale of your family—the Paisleys—a legacy of distinction, resilience, and contribution to the world beckons. From the ancient lands of Paisley to the wide expanse of oceans, your family’s journey is one that leaves an imprint on history’s tapestry, a testament to the enduring spirit that connects generation after generation.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: BE SURE

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