This interesting name, is of Anglo Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Ardley' in Oxfordshire or 'Ardeley' in Hereford. The placename is recorded as 'Eardulfes lea' in the Saxon Charters of 995 and as 'Ardulveslie' in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name means 'Eardwulfs' wood, cleaning, derived from the Anglo Saxon personal name, composed of the two Old English pre 7th Century elements, 'eard' native land and 'wulf' wolf, with 'leah' wood, clearing. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace.Among the early recordings are the christening of Margarett Ardley on November 21st 1641 at St. Olave, Southwark, and the marriage of Mary Ardley on August 2nd 1772 at St. Martin in the Field, Westminister. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmond Ardley, which was dated 1578, christening on December 20th in Copford, Essex, 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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