Recorded in many forms including Oxlad, Oxlead, Oxlade, Oxlud, and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Oxlode near the town of Ely, in the former county of Huntingdonshire. The place name and hence the later surname probably translates as 'The island ( -eg) where the cattle were kept, from the Olde English pre 7th century 'ox eg', although similar interpretations are possible. In or about the year 1230 a.d., the place seems to have been recorded as Oxleg, the 'modern' spelling following the change from Middle English in about the 15th century. In ancient times the area around Ely was almost entirely fen, resulting in many lakes and islands, the latter being very suitable for grazing grounds. The draining of the fens from the 14th century, caused a loss of most lakes, and great changes in the landscape. The surname being locational, is a 'from' name. That is to say a name given to peoople after they left their original homes for what ever reason, to move somewhere else. That was usually the city of London, then as now the believed 'mecca' for the homeless, or those seeking their fortune. The surname is well recorded in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London from at least the time of King James 1st (1603 - 1625). Examples include Alice Oxlud who married John Yeomans at St James Clerkenwell, on September 22nd 1614, and George Oxlade who married Sarah Rutter at St Andrews by the Wardrobe, on August 11th 1765.
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