This is a locational surname, which derives either from the village of Comley in Shropshire, or from some "lost" medieval place with the same spelling. The village name probably translates as the "leah" (a small farm or fenced enclosure) in the combe (valley), from the Olde English pre 10th century. The surname as "Comley" is recorded in the county of Shropshire from the early 17th century, although the name is found in greatest numbers in London. This suggests that probably around the end of the previous century, the village was "cleared" by the landlord using the powers of the evil Enclosure Acts. These acts enabled unscrupulous persons to evict their tenants are to seize the common grazing rights, forcing the tenants to leave, and to seek survival in the growing cities. As the streets of London had the same fascination then as now, people headed for the capital in droves. This was a normal practice in "Merry Olde England" as many as ten thousand surnames being "born" this way. The recordings fro "Comley" include the following examples drawn from church records. John Comley who married Joane Baker at the church of St Gregory and St Paul, London, on April 4th 1628, whilst on July 28th 1664, John Cumley married Mary Cunstable, obviously an "O" shortage, at St Christopher Le Stocks, London. A northern recording was that of Mary Comley, who married Edmund Taylor at Stockport, Cheshire, on August 22nd 1808. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Comley, which was dated August 24th 1622, married Mary Gwine at More, Shropshire, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017