This unusual and interesting name is a variant form of the locational surname "Olney". The placename is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and there are two villages so called, the earlier-established one in Buckinghamshire, recorded as "Ollaneg" in 979 and as "Olnei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and another in Northamptonshire, recorded in 1220 as "Anelegh: The place in Buckinghamshire derives it's name from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Olla", with "eg", island, and means "Olla's island", while the place in Northamptonshire means "lonely glade", derived from the Old English "ana", Lonely, alone, and "leah", clearing in a wood, glade. The modern surname can be found as Olner and Olney, and the development of the name include's Oulner (1675) and Owlner (1679). Gillian Olner and Thomas Jeliffe were married in Oxfordshire in 1608, and one Robert Olner was christened in Mancettes, Warwickshire, on March 29th, 1643. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Olnei, which was dated 1273, in the "Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of The Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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