This name is of English locational origin from a place thus called in Devonshire. Recorded as Kitelhey in records pertaining to that county, dated 1305, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Cytan" (medieval English "Kyte") meaning a kite or bird of prey belonging to the Falcon family, plus "leah", a wood; hence "wood frequented by kites". The surname with variant spellings Kytley, Kytely and Kittley is particularly well recorded in church registers of Southern England from the mid 16th Century, (see below). On March 3rd 1566 Francis Kitley, an infant, was christened in St. Stephen's, Walbrook, London, and on May 2nd 1602 John Kitley and Margery Hill were married in St. Mary Magdalane's, Bermondsey, London. On March 20th 1603 Anne, daughter of Anthony Kittley, was christened in St. Andrew's, Plymouth, Devonshire, and on February 2nd of that year Hugh Kytely and Anne Wall were married in Wheathill, Shropshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Kytley, christened, which was dated March 21st 1539, St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff 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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