Last name: Cawley

This name, with variant spellings Cowley and Kewley, has two distinct possible origins, the first being a dialectal variant of the placename Cowley found in Buckinghamshire, Devonshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Cloucestershire and Middlesex. The second element of the name i.e. "ley" derives, in all cases, from the Old English pre 7th Century "leah", a wood or clearing, and the first element "cow" may be either the Old English "cufl", a log or stump; "cu", a cow; or "col", charcoal. Early recordings of the surname from locational sources include Osbert de Couela, (Oxfordshire, 1167) and William de Colley, (Derbyshire, 1327). The second possibility is that the name is a Manx contraction of the Gaelic (Scots and Irish) MacAuley, itself coming from the Old Gaelic personal byname "Amhalghaidy" meaning "like unto a willow withe", or from MacAmhlaibh i.e. "son of Amlaib", from the Norse personal name "Anleif" meaning "god-relic". The names Cowley, Cawley and Kewley are particularly widespread in the Isle of Man, Cheshire and Lancashire. A famous Cawley was William Cawley (1602-1667), founder of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Chichester, 1626, and one of the judges of King Charles 1. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cawley, (christening), which was dated March 3rd 1571, St. John the Baptist, Chester, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Evan Cawley
If your from Ireland and your name is Cawley, its most likely derived from the MacAmhlaibh's of Fermanagh. I went to a gaeil scoil, and this was the common thoughts on my surname from the faculty. Apparently, Anyone with this surname can claim descent from the Heremon line of Irish kings.The crest is a rampant red lion with two red hands of ulster in the top two corners.. Hope this helps any Cawleys out there!

Kendra Cawley
I'm a Cawley its interesting to read this. When I all ready know the origin of my last name. wow

Eamonn
It is an Irish name or rather the English translation MacAuley. I am not going to presume that I am completely correct, but we have a family tree dating back to the early 15th century in Ireland and we are still there today. Our family was MacAuley then and as far as I can tell there was not an influence from the British before this. but who knows. They did occupy our country for over 900 years All I know is I a am green blooded Irish true and true :)

Angela
Cawley spelled with a W is Irish.

Martin cawley
Was using this site to try and get meaning for my surname,so I can match it with a forename.although I am Scottish I know that my grandfather and his ancestors are of Irish descent,and was told by him that the surname was irish

terri cawley stewart
i am amazed at the detail on here about cawley. When I was at school they did a project on sirnames and mine was the only one they couldn't give any info for so am glad I found this