This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin with variant spellings Beesley, Beasley, Beazleigh, Beazley, Beisley and Bezley, is a locational name from Beesley in Lancashire, perhaps a compound of the Olde English pre 7th Century "beos" meaning "bent grass", plus "leah", a wood or clearing. The name is now widespread in the West Midlands and elsewhere, as well as in Lancashire. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below). Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Gracia Beesley and William Wackfield on June 1st 1561, in Standish, Lancashire; the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Beesley, on September 13th 1598, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London; and the christening of William, son of Richard Beasley, on May 12th 1644, at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to Thomas Beasley, Esq., Dublin in 1820 which consists of a shield divided per pale silver and red, a chevron between three roundles, each charged with a trefoil slipped, all countercharged, the Crest being a demi leopard proper holding between his paws a plate charged with a green trefoil slipped. The Motto, "Labor omnia vincit", translates as, "Perseverance overcomes all difficulties". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Besleg, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", 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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