This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "brad", broad, wide, with "leah", glade, wood. These places include: Broadley near Rochdale in Lancashire; Bradley near Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Bradeleia" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Bradley in Lincolnshire, appearing as "Bradelai" in the Domesday Book, also Bradley in Cheshire, and Derbyshire. Locational names were originally given to the Lord of the Manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to settle elsewhere.Early examples of the surname include: Robert de Bradeleye (Cambridgeshire, 1273); William de Bradelegh (Devonshire, 1272); also Willelmus Brodelegh and Agnes de Bradelay, entered respectively in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. On April 7th 1541, Elizabeth Brodeley, an infant, was christened in Halifax, Yorkshire; and on January 26th 1589, Danyell, son of William Broadley, was christened in Bingley. A Coat of Arms granted to the Broadley family of Kirk Ella, near Hull, and Ferriby, Yorkshire, is a gold shield, with a chevron chequy ermine and red between three crosses pattee fitchee, at the foot sable. A cross pattee fitchee within a chaplet of roses proper, forms the Crest, and the Motto "Honor post funera vivit", translates as "Honour lives after Death". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Bradelai, which was dated 1170, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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