This surname with variant spellings Leadley, Ledley and Leathley is of English locational origin from the village of Leathley in West Yorkshire. The name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Ledelai", and has become "Lethelaye" by 1291. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "hlith", slope, and "leah", wood or clearing, so the name means "the wood on the slopes", and as a distinguishing surname indicated someone who resided near such a place. One William Ledgley was christened on March 27th 1603 at St. Mary Marylebone, Old Fish Street, London, and Mathias Ledgley also on December 19th 1722 at Whitkirk, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anthony Lidgley, which was dated September 11th 1584, St. Giles, Cripplesgate, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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