Recorded in the spellings of Beaulieu, Beuly, Beauley, Bewlay, Bewley, Bewly and Bewlie, this is an Anglo-Irish surname, but of French origins. It derives either from some place such as Bewerley, a small village in North Yorkshire, or possibly as a transpostion of somewhere like Bewdley in Worcesters, but the most likely place of origin is from Beaulieu Abbey and village, in Hampshire. This place name, which actually translates as 'Beautiful place' is pronounced 'Bewley in English. There is also a possibility that some nameholders have a direct connection with similarly named places in France such as Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Cote d'Azur, which have exactly the same meaning. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say they were names given to 'strangers', it being one of the easiest forms of identification to call people by the name of their original home. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic and local accents and dialects very thick, has lead as is certainly the case with this surname, to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include: Agnes Bewleye at the church of St Andrews, Enfield, in the county of Middlesex, Berseba Bewly, the daughter of John Bewly, christened at the church of St Margaret Pattens, in th city of Lonfon, on April 1st 1613, and Thomas Bewley, whose daughter Hannah was christened at St John, the Evangelist, Dublin, Ireland, on July 21st 1712.
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