This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of the several places thus called, for example, Bagley in Berkshire, Somerset, Shropshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place in Berkshire, recorded as "Baggan Leah" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, dated 955, derives its name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bacga", denoting some wild animal, plus "leah", a wood or clearing. The places in Somerset, Shropshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Bagaleia" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for each county, are so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Bacga" (meaning "Badger"), plus "leah", as above. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Henry de Bageleg, who appeared in the Shropshire County Rolls, dated 1272; Thomas de Baggeleghe, was recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Somerset; and Johannes de Bagley, recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. The christening was recorded in Berkshire of John, son of John Bagley, on February 19th 1604, at Compton near Newbury. The Bagley Coat of Arms is a silver shield, on a fesse between three red martlets as many plates. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de (of) Baggeleg, which was dated 1260, witness in 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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