This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any of the various places called "Hawley", in Hampshire, in Kent, and a now "lost" place near Sheffield in Yorkshire. The place in Hampshire is recorded as "Hallee" in 1248, and means "wood or clearing with a hall", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "heall", hall, manor with "leah", wood, glade. The place in Kent is recorded as "Hagelei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means "the holy wood or clearing", from the Old English "halig", holy, with "leah", wood, glade; this would once have been the site of a sacred grove.The now "lost" place in Yorkshire was named from the Old Norse elements "haugr", mound, with Old English "leah", as before. Thomas Hawley was christened in Brodsworth, Yorkshire, in February 1572; Marke Hawlee in Kent in 1579, and Henry Hawly, in Heckfield, Hampshire, in 1588. The marriage of Thomas Hawley and Margerye Little was recorded at St. Lawrence Pountney, London, on April 10th 1653. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jeremy Hawley (christening), which was dated 1525, London Church Registers, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Good King Hal", 1509-1547. 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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