This is an interesting medieval locational name of English and Scots origin, from places so called in Gloucestershire, Berwick, and Aberdeen. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hunta", a hunter, and "leah", a wood or clearing in a wood. The place in Gloucestershire was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Huntelei", and means the hunter's wood. The place in Berwick was called "Huntlie" and is now extinct, but gave its name to Huntley in Aberdeenshire, and was owned by the Earls of Huntly until 1638.The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). Thomas de Hunteley appears as a witness in the 1280 Assize Court Rolls of Somerset and John Hunteleye is noted in the Surrey Feet of Fines (1372 - 1375). On May 25th 1544, Mathewe Huntley was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. The name was found recorded in the New World in the 17th Century, when one Margaret Huntley sailed aboard the "Bonaventure", from the Port of London in January 1634 bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Huntelega, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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