Recorded as Blankley and Blanckley, this is an English surname. It is locational surname and originates from the place called Blankney near the city of Lincoln, in the county of Lincolnshire. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Blachene; as Blancaneia in the Yorkshire Charters of 1157; and as Blankenei in the Lincolnshire Assize Court Rolls of 1202. The name means either Blanca's island or the island of the horse, from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name Blanca, or blanca, meaning horse, with the suffix -eg, meaning an island. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor and local landowners, and were used especially as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional dialectal differences and varying standards of literacy subsequently led to the creation of variant forms of the original name. The interchanging of the suffixes "-ney" and "-ley" was a common dialectal occurrence in the Middle Ages. Early examples of the surname spelling include Blanckley in 1561; Blankney in 1562; and Blancklie also of Lincolnshire in 1589. Amongst the recordings of the name in church registers are those of the marriage of Thomas Blankley and Elsabeth Somner in Bottesford, Leicestershire, on November 12th 1581, and the christening of Wylliam, son of Henrye Blanckley, on May 7th 1595, at Great Gonerby, in Lincolnshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Blankeneia, which was dated 1202, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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