This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called Headley, for example in Hampshire, recorded as "Hallege" in the Domesday Book of 1086; in Surrey, recorded as "Hallega" in the Domesday Book; in Worcestershire, recorded as "Haethleage" in the 849 Saxon Cartulary, and in the West Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Hethleia" in the Early Yorkshire Charters (1180). The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "haeth", heathland, heather, with "leah", wood, clearing; hence "clearing overgrown with heather". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Margareta de Hedelay is listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns (1379). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include; Robert Hederly, who married Christian Sexton, on September 11th 1678, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London; Daniel Hedderly, who married Penelope Philips, on April 27th 1724, at St. Mary's, Beverly, Yorkshire; and William Hedderly, who married Mary Moore, on November 12th 1730, at St. Augustine's, Watling Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Heddeleg, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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