This interesting surname of Anglo-Saxon origin with variant spellings Lansly, Lancley, Lanceley, etc., is a dialectal variant of the locational name from any of the numerous places so called Langley, for example Langley in Worcestershire, Norfolk, Somerset, Shropshire, etc., deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lang, long" meaning "long" plus "leah", "wood, clearing". The surname dates back to the late 17th Century, (see below). Church records include one Anne, daughter of William and Anne Lansley who was christened on the 27th July 1718 in St.Olave's, Southwark, London, William, son of William and Anne Lansly who was christened also in St. Olave's, Southwark, on the 9th August 1718, and George Lansley who married Elizabeth Duncom on the 20th January 1750 in St. George Mayfair, Westminster. During the Middle Ages when it was increasing common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield the custom developed that they would adopt the place-name as a means of identification. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Priscilla Lansley (marriage to John Chandler), which was dated 1692 at St. James, Dukes Place, London, during the reign of King William 111, known as "William of Orange", 1689 - 1694. 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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