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Riley family page

This family owned Trinity Manor for nearly a century


Athelstan Riley

Record Search

Direct links to lists of baptisms, marriages and burials for the Riley family can be found under Family Records opposite. If you want to search for records for a spelling variant of Riley, or for any other family name, just click below on the first letter of the family name you are interested in. This will open a new tab in your browser giving you a list of family names beginning with that letter, for which there are baptism records in our database of half a million church and public registry records.

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Colonel and Mrs Riley

Origins of surname

This surname can be either English or Irish. It is found in both countries in several spellings.

It has two possible, distinct origins. In England the surname is usually locational, from the village of Riley Green near Blackburn or possibly Riley Hill, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire. Various publications also mention a place called Riley in Devonshire, but if such a place ever existed, that no longer seems to be the case.

The meaning of the name is probably 'Rye Farm' from the Olde English rygh - leah, but other translations are possible such as 'Reed Farm'.

In Ireland the surname can be a planter surname from the same English source, but is more usually from the Gaelic O'Raghailligh, meaning the descendant of Raghallach, the latter being an early personal name.

Early records

This family only arrived in Jersey in the first decade of the 20th century, when Athelstan Riley bought Trinity Manor, and died out when his grandson John died leaving only daughters. It is important, though, because for nearly 90 years the family owned Trinity Manor and Athelstan, his son Christopher, and John, were in turn Seigneurs de la Trinité. These Rileys originated in Yorkshire.

There have been other Riley families in the island and the name is still present today, with nine households in the telephone directory.


  • Riley
  • Ryley
  • Reily
  • Reely
  • Reilly
  • McReilly
  • O'Reilly
  • O'Ralilly

Family records


Family trees


Church records


Family histories


Great War service

Sons of John Athelstan Riley and Andalusia Molesworth, of Trinity Manor

  • Christopher John Molesworth Riley MC (1894-1958) (Tr) Captain, Coldstream Guards, rose to Lt-Col in WW2, MC citation not found
  • Laurence Athelstan Molesworth Riley (1888-1928) 2nd Lieutenant RMIJ

  • William Charles Riley (1894- ) (St H) son of William James and Jane Catherine Joll, L-Cpl, Dorset Regiment
  • William Richard Riley (1888-) (St S) son of John and Ann Mary Riley, service details unknown, RN 1907-1912


Family wills

This will created by a member of the Riley family is now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, date and reference number shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page

  • John Riley, Seigneur of Franc Fief Noble and Seigneurie de La Trinitié, desires to be buried in the Riley tomb in Trinity Church Cemetery and his heart sent to England to be buried in the Riley Chantry chapel at St Petroc Minor, Cornwall - 30 November 1945, D/Y/A/114

Riley properties

Family gravestones

Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs

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