Recorded in a range of spellings including Cayley, Caley, Calley, Kayley and Kaley, this is a surname of either English, French or Manx origins. It may be French and locational, from the town of Cailly in the departement of Seine-Inferieure, in Normandy, or if English and locational, from the hamlet of Cayley, (meaning Caega's farm) in the parish of Winwick in the county of Lancashire. If the origin is Manx from the Isle of Man, then the origin is from the ancient Gaelic Mac Caolidhe, which translates as "the son of the slender one", the latter being the nickname for the first chief of the clan possibly in the 10th century. The first surname recording from that source may be that of William McCaley in the island in 1511. The other origins have recordings which include William de Cailgi in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. He is believed to have been one of the close companions of William, The Conqueror, and who was granted lands by William in the county of Berkshire. William de Caly of Norfolk in 1210, and Adam de Kaly of Warwickshire in 1212, would also seem to have the French origin. However Walter de Cayeley of Staffordshire in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1332 would seem to have the originated from Lancashire. Over the centuries surnames have continued to "develop", often leading to variations far removed from the basic form.
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