This very unusual variant spelling is a dialectual derivation from the locational name "Bichelei" found in the 1086 Domesday Book. The name translates as the dweller at Becca's Farm, with "Becca" being an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name. The modern village names of Beckley, found in Suffolk, Kent and Oxford, all have the same meaning and are probably the places of origin of the name. The spelling alternatives include Beckerley an example being Susannah Beckerley of London Wall, recorded in 1795 and Ann Beckley, who married William Ayres at St.Brides Church, Fleet Street, on December 1st 1633. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Beckerleg, which was dated 1736, married Rachel Vancourt at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, during the reign of King George II, "The last Warrior King", 1717 - 1760. 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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