This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Caselie, Casley, Cassley, Keasley, etc., is a locational name from Kearsley, in Lancashire, Northumberland or Warwickshire. Kearsley in Lancashire derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Coers, Croes" meaning "watercress" plus "leah", "wood or clearing". Kearsley in Northumberland and Warwickshire are so called from the Olde English personal name "Crenhere" plus "leah"; hence, "Cuenhere's leah". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Church Records of the variants include Robert, son of Daniel Caselie who was christened on March 20th 1608 in St. Mary Magdalene's, Bermondsey, Ann Casely who married Edward George on July 15th 1630 in St. Mary Putney, London and Mary Ann Caisley who was christened on November 18th 1838 in St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to the family depicting a castle with two gold towers black embattled and masoned on a red shield, the crest being a lion rampant proper red langued and armed. The Motto "mao mori quam feodari" translates as "I prefer suffering to disgrace". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Caresle which was dated 1206 in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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