This interesting surname of English and possibly Scottish locational origin from "Blackley" or "Blakeley" in Greater Manchester or "Blackley", in the West Riding of Yorkshire, derives from the Old English pre-seventh Century elements "bloec", black dark plus "leah", wood or clearing in a wood. The former place is recorded as "Blakeley" in the Inquisitions post mortem in 1282. The name may also be from a place in Scotland, as it is current in Dumfriesshire. The surname first appears in records in the late 13th Century, (see below).William de la Blekelegh was mentioned in 1301, in the parliamentary Writs of Staffordshire while the Neubotle Registers in Edinburgh record Radulphus Blackley as a juror on inquest at Berwick in 1321. John Blaklay was listed in the Register of Freemen of York in 1543. One Thomas Blackly aged 20, immigrated to New England, New World aboard the "Hopswell" from London on July 28th 1635. The Commissary record of Lanark (1595-1800), record a Mungo Blaikley in Hairtope in the parish of Crauford, Scotland in 1687. Jemima Blackley was christened at St. Saviour, Southwark, London, on February 3rd 1819. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Blakeneye (Adam de Blakeleye), which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of London, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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