This is an interesting name of English origin which is a locational surname from a place so called in Warwickshire. The place name is on Record as early as 1086 in the Domesday Book of Warwickshire where it appears as "Hanslei", but by the time it was recorded in the "Inquisition Miscellaneous" of Warwickshire in 1325 the name had evolved into "Ansteleye". Alater Spelling, recorded in the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum in 1416 as "Ansteley". The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century word "anseh", a shortened form of the word "ancorseti", meaning a hermitage, with "leah", a clearing. During the Middle Ages it became customary to use the name of the village a person came from as a means of identification after they had moved away. In Allesley, Yorkshire, one Elizabeth Ansley married John Aenitt on October 23rd 1769. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henrici Anseley, witness, which was dated September 8th 1580, Barton-on-Heath, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "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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