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 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.

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

Resources on

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
  • 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

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.

America. The 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.

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
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).



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