This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from "Plumley", a village in Cheshire which was recorded "Plumleia" in 1119 in the Cartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester. The placename itself, derives from the old English pre 7th Century word "plume" (from the Latin "prunns") meaning both plum and plum tree, found in many place-named, plus the second element "-leah", wood or clearing, hence a clearing in the plum-trees or a cluster of plum-trees. There is also a place called Plumley in the Ringwood rural district, Southampton, Hampshire. The surname itself first appears in the early 14th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the name has three spelling variations Plumley, Plomely and Plumbley. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; Mary, daughter of Christopher Plumbley, who was christened on December 6th 1616 at St. Margaret's, Westminster; on March 13th 1681, John, son of Henry and Mary Plumbley was christened at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate; and Ann, daughter of Robert and Ann Plumbley was christened on March 15th 1701 at St. Giles, Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Plomlegh, which was dated 1327, "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, "the Father of the navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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