This interesting surname of English origin is a dialectal variant of the locational name Beamsley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "Bothm" meaning "valley" plus "leah" "wood or clearing". The surname dates back to the mid 16th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Joyan Bamsley who married John Smith on June 21st 1580 at Bishops Tachbrook, Warwickshire, Elizabeth Bamsoy who married Henry Crombe on May 5th 1611 at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London. John, son of John and Mary Bamsley was christened at Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and Elizabeth Bamsey married Joseph Bury on March 3rd 1783 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. One Mary Ann Bamsey was christened on June 18th 1828 at St. Pancras, Old Church London. During the middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birth place to seek work further afield the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johes Beamslaye, (christening), which was dated 1566, Whitgift, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "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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