Although the title of this website might suggest a single-name study, it is actually a collection of interconnected families (see Top Ten Surnames, right, which shows the number of people born with each surname). We are interested in both the male and female lines of ancestors, descendants, and their spouses.
New look! Wider page, larger fonts, home page reorganized, family menu bar relocated, some buttons on main menu bar relocated to the footer. Added 69 and updated 34 people, mostly additional descendants of Mary “Polly” Gazlay (1747-1805) and her husband Dr. William Forman (1749-1816).
Website now contains 8,262 people with 2,108 surnames.
For details on how to navigate the website, click on: Navigation.
Our immigrant ancestor, John Gazlay, arrived from England about 1715. Despite considerable research (as documented in the English Origins of the Gazlay Family), his English family has not been positively identified. The surname has evolved in the United States into two spellings: Gazlay and Gazley. Our ambitious goal is to trace and document all of his descendants, male and female. We originally believed that John’s descendants numbered around 1,000, but that has proven to be an underestimate; as of 2 April 2016, our web database includes 2,010 of John Gazlay’s descendants. We are progressively adding branches of his family tree. Some branches are fairly well known and have considerable supporting documentation; with other branches, scarcely any information exists.
Besides John Gazlay’s descendants, other lines of research (e.g., families of several Gazlay spouses) we have included in this web site (so far) are the descendants (and some ancestors) of:
We are planning to add the following branches of our family to the web site:
We are certainly not the first to document the history of our ancestral families. We have collected numerous papers, letters, notes, family histories, family trees and other documents handed down through the generations and written about various individuals and branches of our families.
The earliest Gazlay family history we have found is the unpublished Genealogy of the Gazlay Family, collated by Theodore Gazlay in 1890. His Genealogy documents the descendants of John Gazlay who emigrated from England about the year 1715. Much of the information in Theodore’s Genealogy comes from a statement in 1852 by his older brother, Rev. Sayrs Gazlay.
A few notable efforts have been undertaken to develop large Gazlay family trees. One relatively simple but elegant tree compiled by Francis Gazlay, titled “Henry Willis Gazlay 1854-1934 Ancestors & Descendants,” shows Henry’s direct ancestry traced back to the immigrant John Gazlay, and all of Henry’s descendants as of 1978. The tree includes about 100 names and the associated years of birth and death. A much more extensive family tree compiled by David Gazlay first in June 1984 shows about 700 descendants of the same immigrant John Gazlay, not including spouses and step children. David’s tree is in chart form, occupying a scroll measuring approximately 3' x 10' and includes the years of birth and death for most individuals. David’s August 2001 second edition, on a scroll of 3' x 14', added approximately 200 names. Fran and David’s work greatly augmented my research into the Gazlay family history, and I am deeply indebted to both of them as well as to all of the other authors, compilers, and contributors for their hard work.
We have found very few published or informally compiled family histories that are specifically written about, or include in any substantial way, the lines of our other primary families. There are, for example, many extensive McGregor and Patterson family histories but none connect with our ancestors. We have, however, found publications for other families that include a few of the ancestors on our family tree related by marriage. One noteable example is the fine work by Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Champion Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Henry Champion of Saybrook and Lyme, Connecticut, which includes Mary Champion, her husband Jacob Gazlay, their three children including Dr. Henry Champion Gazlay, and Dr. Gazlay’s three children and six grandchildren who were born before 1891 when the book was published.