This is an English surname. Recorded in several spellings including Lewesley, Lewsley, Lewsy, Lewsey, Lewzey and Lewsie, its origins are locational. However the surname as a place name, is not recorded in any of the gazetters of the British Isles in any form of the surname spelling, unless it be as a variant of somewhere such as Lewes in Sussex, or even the Isles of Lewis in Scotland. Either are possible but unlikely. The most likely explanation is that the surname originates from a now "lost" medieval site, probably in East Anglia where there are several rivers called Lew, and various villages such as North Lew and Lew Trenchard, as well as Lew in Oxfordshire. The make up of the surname suggests a derivation from the Olde English pre 7th century word "lliu" meaning sparking, and "-eg", an island, or possibly "Illiu-leah," which can also mean an island as an enclosure in a forest. The fens of East Anglia were largely drained between the 14th and 18th centuries, and as a result many islands disappeared, and the whole area became, and remains, one huge agricultural estate, the richest lands in Britain. It is also likely that as a locational name it was one given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere, which may have been the city of London. The name is well recorded there from Elizabethan times. The first known recording being that of Elizabeth Lewsey, who married Matthew Thomson in London, possibly by civil licence, on December 22nd 1578, John Lewsy who married Ann Gold at St Margarets Westminster, on November 20th 1595, and Griffine Lewsley who married Joane Mitchell at the church of St Mary at Hill, city of London, on November 14th 1622.
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