Recorded in almost as many spellings as is physically possible although the popular forms are now Billingsley and Billingsly, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from Billingsley, a parish near the town of Bridgenorth, in the county of Salop or Shropshire as it is now better known. The surname is ancient being one of the earliest on record with that of Peter de Byllinggeye of Lincolnshire in the Hundred Rolls of Landowners in the year 1273, and in the register of students for Oxford Univeristy in the year 1581, we have that of Richard Billingslie of Warwick. These are excellent examples of a locational surname, in that these were usually names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else as easy identification. It also shows how people in those medieval times, often travelled quite large distances to seek a new life, at a time when any journey was fraught with considerable danger. There seems to be doubt as to the actual meaning of the name, but it is probably 'The farm of the Billa people', with Billa being an early pre 7th century personal name.
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