This interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of Lindley, or Liwley a locational name from places so called in Yorkshire, and Leicester, and Shropshire and Wiltshire. Two of the places in the West Riding of Yorkshire are derivatives of the Old English pre 7th Century "lin", feax, and "leah", wood, or clearing in a wood, as well as the places called Linley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. However Lindley, near Otley, Yorkshire derives from the Old English "lind", a lime tree, with the same second element as before.It may be that the place in Leicester derives from "lind" also and is a further possible source of the surname. The following examples illustrate the name development from the earliest recording (see below) Matthew de Linleg (1219, Fees, Dorset) Richard de Linlegh (1221 Assize Rolls Salop), Jordan de Lynley (1275 Yorkshire). One Thomas Lingley was christened on March 16th 1698 at Whitkirk, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Linleia, which was dated 1204, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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