This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Grasley, Greasley, Grisley, Grisely, Grisly, Grizley, etc., is either a locational name from Gresley in Derbyshire or Greasley in Nottinghamshire deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "greosn" meaning "gravel" plus "leah", "wood or clearing", or a nickname for a person with a face bearing the scars of battle, deriving from the old French "gresle" meaning "scarred or pitted". The surname dates back to the late 11th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Robert Greslet (1130), "the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", and William de Greseleg (1198) "the Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire". Church recordings include one Leonard Greysley who married Thomasyn Holt on April 16th 1560 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, Mary Grizley who married Christopher Grace on October 22nd 1622 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, and Susannah, daughter of William Grisley was christened on August 2nd 1663 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Albert Greslet, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Cheshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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