Recorded in various spellings including Batchley, Bechley, and Betchley, this is an English surname. It is locational from a now lost former medieval village called Batchley, which is enclosed within the town of Redditch in Worcestershire. The name of the former village and hence the later surnames is the farm (leah) in the valley, from the Olde English 'baec-leah' of the pre 7th century. Locational surnames are usually, as with this one, 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their former homes and moved elsewhere. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of alternative spellings. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls, charters and registers of the 17th century include: Henry Batchley, the son of William Batchley, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 11th 1655, and Isaac Betchley, whose daughter May was christened at Wandsworth in the city of London, on April 9th 1762. Another interesting recording is that of William Bechley, whose son also William, was christened at Endell Street lying-in hospital, also in the city of London, on August 23rd 1821.
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