This name is of English locational origin from any of the several places thus called, for example Bagley in Berkshire, Somerset, Shropshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The first mentioned recorded as Baggan Leah in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, dated 955 derives its name from the Old English pre 7th Century 'bacga' denoting some wild animal, plus 'leah', a wood or clearing. The others recorded as Bagaleia in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the various counties, are so called from the Old English pre 7th Century personal byname Bacga (meaning 'Badger'), plus 'leah'. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century, (see below). One, Henry de Bageleg appears in the Shropshire County Rolls, dated 1272, and a Thomas de Baggeleghe in the 1327 'Subsidy Rolls of Somerset'. In 1379 Johannes de Bagley was recorded in the 'Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de (of) Baggeleg, witness, which was dated 1260, 'The Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire', during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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