This interesting surname, with variant spellings Olley, Ollie, Oyley etc., and cognates Doyley, D'oyley, Doley and Dolley, is of French locational origin from any of the several places in Calvados, Normandy, called Ouilly. The derivation is from the Gallo-Roman personal name Ollius, plus the locational suffix "acum", a settlement. These places include Ouilly-le-Basset and Ouilly-le-Vicomte and the Domesday undertenant recorded below is probably from the former place. Early recordings of the surname include Robert de Olleyo and Henry de Oly, Oxfordshire 1135 and 1212 respectively and Henry de Olly with Robert de Doley, (The Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire, 1272 and 1279 respectively). The initial "d" in some forms of the surname results from the fusion of the French preposition "de". On November 8th 1620, John Oley, an infant, was christened in St. Giles Cripplegate, London, and on May 10th 1624, William Oley and Jone Bates were married in St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Oilleio, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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