This uncommon and interesting surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Gandley may be of combined Old Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place believed to have been situated either in Lincolnshire or Yorkshire because of the early surname recordings found in those counties. The component elements of the placename are most likely the Old Scandinavian personal name "Gagni", and the Olde English pre 7th Century "leah", glade, grove, cognate with the Old Norse "lo", grove, low-lying meadow. The prime cause of medieval village "disappearance" was the enforced clearing of rural settlements, and the consequent dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade from the 14th Century on. The marriage of Henry Thompson to Miss Gandley (first name not recorded) took place at Cottingham, Yorkshire, on January 29th 1587, and on June 6th 1591, Hearsye Granleye married Margaret Lincoln at Freiston, Lincolnshire. Gandley may also be of Old Gaelic (Irish) origin, and a variant of Ganley, itself an Anglicized form of the Connacht name "MagSheanlaoich", son of the Old Hero, first Anglicized as "MacGanly" in Petty's 1659 "census" of all Ireland. On May 5th 1691, Edward Ganlee witnessed a christening at St. Nicholas Within, Dublin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gandlay, which was dated October 10th 1562, christened at Langton by Wragby, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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