This name is of English locational origin from a place thus called in Northampton, spelt Blaculveslea in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Islaec (wulf)' meaning 'the black wolf' plus 'leah', a wood, hence, the wood of the black wolf. The surname from this source is first recorded at the end of the 12th century. In 1624, one Mary Blakesley married a Thomas Belley in London. Another marriage that of Thomas Blakesley and Racheal Dukes is recorded in St. Michael's Church, Cornhill, London (1723). An interesting name bearer was Joseph Williams Blakesley (1808-85), Canon of Canterbury (1863) and Dean of Lincoln (1872). He wrote extensively for 'The Times'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Blakesle. which was dated 1199 - in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire. during the reign of King Richard 1 known as 'The Lionheart' 1189-1199 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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