Recorded in various spellings including Notley, Nottley, and Knottley, this is an English surname. It is locational from one of the places called Notley in Buckinghamshire and in Essex. The former is recorded in the year 1200 as Nutlee, whilst the the place in Essex has had an unusual history being recorded as Hnutlea in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 998 a.d., as Nutlea in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, as Black Notley and White Notley in the 15th century! However spelt the places share the same meaning and derivation, which is the nut wood, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "hnutu", nut, with "leah", a wood or clearing in a wood. Locational surnames were originally in many instances given to the lord of the manor, and later to former inhabitants who moved to another area. In this case early examples include Maryan Notley, the daughter of Erasmus Notley, who was christened on the 22nd of March 1607 at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, and the marriage of James Knottley and Anne Twist at St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, on January 11th 1825. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Nottele, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward Ist known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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