This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places thus called. Bixley in Norfolk was recorded as "Biskele" and "Bichesle" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Bixle" in the 1228 Close Rolls, and Bixley Heath in Suffolk was recorded as "Bischelea" in the Domesday Book. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "byxe", a box tree or grove, with "leah", grove, clearing in a wood; hence "clearing where box trees grew". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In the modern idiom the surname can also be found as Bixlie, Bexlie, Bixly and Besl(e)y. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Abraham, son of Charles Bexley, on October 10th 1591 at St. James', Clerkenwell; the christening of Anne, daughter of William Bixley, on May 27th 1621 at St. Giles Cripplegate; the marriage of Mary Bixley and Jasper Lind on October 31st 1675 at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road; and the christening of Mary, daughter of Joseph and Mary Bixley, on February 24th 1680 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Annes Byxley, which was dated August 16th 1568, marriage to Thomas Fysher, at St. Peter's, Dunwich, Suffolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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