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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Surname Saturday: Leÿ

The surname Leÿ is one of my ancestral surnames. The German language used to include the letter ÿ, but it is no longer used. According to Dictionary of German Names, 2nd ed., by Hans Bahlow (Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002), the surname Ley (or Leyh) is an Upper German name that is frequently found in the Rhineland area. It comes from Eley, a variant of Eloy, which is another name for Saint Eligius. Saint Eligius was the patron saint of goldsmiths and horses.

Absolute distribution (Ley)

©Christoph Stöpel. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DE (

Relative distribution (Ley)

©Christoph Stöpel. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DE (

My known Leÿ ancestors are:

4th-great-grandmother: Christina Leÿ
born about 1779
married Peter Nagel 13 April 1814, Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
died 18 March 1858, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

5th-great-grandfather: Christian Leÿ
born about 1740, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
married Catharina Wirtz
died 21 June 1803, Hermülheim, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

6th-great-grandfather: Johan Leÿ
married Apolonia

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