The Paley surname is on my paternal side of the family. So far I have a total of 38 Paley ancestors. The earliest confirmed Paley is my 3x great grandfather William (1797-1882). I have identified from Family Search a Margaret Payley as a possible mother of William but I haven’t yet been to examine the parish records.
According to surnamedb Paley is of English locational origins. It is said to derive from a hamlet within the parish of Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, known as Paley Green. In the 18th century Paley Green consisted of just two farms.
My Paley’s certainly appear to come from this area.
Early recordings of the name include Robertus de Palay of Littondale, in the parish of Arncliffe in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls; and John Paley of Melling, also in Yorkshire, whose will was recorded at Chester in 1591.
As the name moved away from its original roots the spellings became more varied and include Palay, Paley, Payley, Palley, Pally, Paylie and Paily.
Church recordings include examples such as Edward Palia, christened at St. Mary at Hill, London on 23rd August 1568. Also Elizabeth Palley, who married Robert Hales at St. James church, Clerkenwell, London on 12th September 1612.
There is said to be an interesting recording in Barbados in the parish registers of 1679. That is of Adrian Paily who held five acres of land and had one servant.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be Adam de Palay, which is dated 1379 in the Poll Tax Rolls for Giggleswick.
Here is a link to the Langcliffe village website and an article about the Paley family of Langliffe and Ampton. I haven’t yet found a direct link to the Paley’s mentioned in the article but I’m sure that there is one.