Select Quayle Surname Genealogy

Quayle is a Manx name, i.e. from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. 

Manx surnames are usually of Celtic origin (Manx Gaelic being a fully-fledged Celtic landuage), but have tended to develop their own distinctive island traits.  An analysis of Manx surnames at the beginning of the 19th century showed that 65 percent of them were of Celtic origin and another 30 percent of them of Norse-Gaelic origin.  Many of these surnames had started with the Mac ("son of") prefix, then dropped the Mac, but ended up with the hard "k"-sounding prefix instead.    

The origin of Quayle appears to be the Celtic MacPhail or MacFail, meaning "son of Paul:" 
  • Gilbert MacQuaile was a member of the House of Keys in 1422
  • while MacQuayle and the shorter version of Quayle were both recorded as Abbey tenants in 1540.
There were various spellings of the name until around the middle of the 17th century when Quayle became generally accepted.  Quayle was the second most common surname on the Isle of Man by the 19th century.

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Select Quayle Ancestry

Isle of Man.  One Quayle Manx family can be traced back to the 1580's, starting with Thomas Quayle who owned a manor at Clychur and was a member of the Manx House of Keys.  The most conspicuous of these Quayles was George Quayle who lived in the late 18th century at Bridge House in Castletown.  He appeared to be an inventive man who got up to a bit of smuggling on his yacht.

The parish of Kirk Michael on the Manx west coast provided a number of early Quayles, including:
  • Catherine Quayle, born there in 1599
  • William Quayle, born in 1651
  • John Quayle, born in 1691
  • and Henry Quayle, born in 1706.
Quayle's Farm (Ballyquayle) near present-day Douglas had a Quayle association from the 16th century.  In the 1880's there were two accomplished cabinet makers along Wellroad Hill in Douglas, one Ned Quayle, whose son was the well-known artist EC Quayle, and the other Thomas Quayle, whose son emigrated to Chicago and whose progeny included an American Vice-President, Dan Quayle.

An exodus from the Isle of Man started in the 1830's, due to hard times, and then picked up steam in the 1840's and 1850's.  The initial destination was America.  Then Canada, Australia, and New Zealand became places to go.  Quayles either set off in groups with other Manxmen or they went by themselves. 

England.  A number of Quayles left the island for the work opportunities that nearby Lancashire on the English mainland provided.  Perhaps the earliest record was that of Philip Quayle who married an Ann Bell at St. Nicholas church in Liverpool in 1784.  The flow increased in the 19th century.  Thomas Quayle, for instance, arrived in the 1860's.  He was a lamplighter in Liverpool.  Anthony Quayle, that well-known English film actor of the 1950's, was born of Manx roots in Southport, Lancashire.  

AmericaThe first Manx group settled in Warrensville, Ohio near where Cleveland now stands.  Thomas Quayle arrived there in 1827.  Twenty years later he started a shipbuilding business and he and his sons built wooden boats for the Great Lakes trade until 1890.  Another Manx settlement in America which included Quayles was the Laxey/Bloomfield area in Wisconsin. 

Daniel Quayle departed England with his family in 1843 and bought land in Kenosha county, Wisconsin.  John Quayle was an early convert to Mormonism and set out from Liverpool with his wife Catherine in 1841.  Another Quayle, James, followed him to Utah in 1853.

Two Quayles embarked for America and became for a time sea captains.  One was Charles Quayle who eventually returned to England; the other William Quayle who set out for Texas in the 1850's and fought in the Civil War there.

Elsewhere.  By the end of the 19th century, Quayles had spread as far west as British Columbia and as far south as Australia and New Zealand.
Select Quayle Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Quayle Names

George Quayle
from a well-known Manx family was a smuggler who lived a somewhat mysterious life in the late 18th century.
E.C. Quayle was a prominent Manx artist and painter of the first half of the 20th century.
Anthony Quayle was a well-known English film actor of the 1950's.
Dan Quayle was the US Vice President for George Bush senior.

Select Quayles Today
  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous in the Isle of Man)
  • 1,000 in America (most numerous in California).
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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