This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from one of the places called "Blakeley" or "Blackley", such as that in Greater Manchester, which is recorded in the Lancashire records of 1282 as "Blakeley". The name means "the dark wood or glade", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "blaec", black, dark, with "leah", this wood, glade, clearing in a wood. Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The "Records of Wills" lodged at Chester in 1628 contains that of one Ralph Blokeley, of Bury, Lancashire, and the marriage of Thomas Blakeley and Alice Entwisle was recorded in Prestwich on July 2nd July 1693. Among the church recordings of the name in London is that of the christening of John Blakeley at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on May 3rd 1702. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Blakeleye, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls, London, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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