Recorded as Marklew, Marklow, and Markley, this is an English surname. It is locational from an ancient seat south east of Heathfield in the county of Sussex, called today Marklye. The component elements of the placename are believed to be the pre 7th century words "mearc", meaning a parish boundary mark, and "hlaew", a hill. This latter element is also found in the place names of Lews in Sussex and Lew in Oxfordshire. These are recorded respectively as Laewe, and aet Hlaewe in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 961 a.d., and appears variously in placenames as "-loe, -low, -law, -lew", and "-ley". Locational surnames, such as this one, were originally given either to a local landowner and the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Examples of the early recordings include that of John Markley, who was christened at Ludlow, Shropshire, on August 15th 1566 and on October 19th 1745, Elizabeth Marklew and William Rushton were married at Boxgrove, Sussex. The marriage of Elizabeth Marklow to William Allsee took place at Alverstoke, Hampshire, on August 5th 1771. The surname today is sadi to be ost widely recorded in Birmingham, Warwickshire. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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