This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from Plumley, a village in Cheshire, which was recorded as "Plumleia" in 1119 in the Chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester. The placename itself derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "plume" (from the Latin "prunns") meaning both "plum" and "plum tree", found in many placenames, 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). Robert Plumlye married Eddeth Warne at Ringwood, Hampshire on January 28th 1594. At St. Augustine the Less, Bristol, Margerett Roberts married Thomas Plomley on January 22nd 1609 and they also had a son, Thomas, christened there on June 7th 1618. William Plumley married Mary Bulkley at Holy Trinity, Chester in Cheshire on January 1st 1652. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Plomlegh, which was dated 1327, in "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "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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