This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of the minor places so called, such as Buckleigh in Abbotsham in Devonshire, Buckley Heath in Sussex, or Buckley Green in Warwickshire. Most of these placenames derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bucc(a)", meaning a he-goat, plus "leah" a clearing or wood. However, several instances of Buckley and Buckleigh in Devon derive from "boga", bow, plus "clif", cliff. In Ireland, the surname is found as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Buachalla", composed of the elements "O" meaning descendant of, plus "Buachaill", a byname meaning cowherd or servant. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: William de Bockeleye, noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Warwickshire in 1332, and John Buckley, who appeared in the 1545 Subsidy Rolls of Wiltshire. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Bucklee and Buckleigh. Among the earliest of the namebearers to settle in the New World Colonies were Ben Buckley, aged 11 yrs., and Daniell Buckley, aged 9 yrs., who departed from the port of London aboard the "Suzan and Ellin" bound for New England, in April 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Buckeleg, which was dated 1235, 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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