This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the places called Buckley, most of which are named from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bucc(a)" meaning he-goat, plus "leah" wood, clearing, for example Buckley Heath in Sussex, and Buckley Green in Warwickshire. Buckley and Buckleigh in Devonshire derive their names from "boga" bow, plus "clif", meaning cliff. In some instances the surname may derive from the contracted local pronunciation of Bulkeley in Cheshire, so called from the Olde English "bulluc" meaning bullock, plus "leah", as before. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Early recordings include William de Bockeleye (1332) in the Subsidy Rolls of Warwickshire. Church Records list the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas and Margaret Bowkley, on November 1th 1651 at Kingston near Ivybridge, Devonshire, and the marriage of John Bookley to Ann Vinal on February 12th 1690 at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement Eastcheap, London. William, son of Thomas and Frances Bowkley, was christened on July 2nd 1853 at St. Pancras, Old Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Buckeleg, which was dated 1235 - 1236, in the "Feet of Fines of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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