This interesting and uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a locational or a topographical surname. As the former, it derives from either of the places called Pooley, in Warwickshire and Westmoreland (Pooley Bridge), or from a location now called Hunt's Hall in Pebmarsh, Essex, which was recorded as "Polheia" in 1086, and as "Polleheye" in 1238, and is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pol", pool, deep place in a stream, and "(ge)haeg", enclosure, fence or hedge, thus "enclosure by a pool". Pooley in Warwickshire has an obscure etymology; the placename is not recorded before the 13th Century, when forms such as "Povele, Poueleye, Pouelee" and "Poleye" are found. The first element may be the Olde English "pofel", believed to denote "a small piece of land", and the second is the Olde English "leah", wood, clearing. Pooley (Bridge) in Westmoreland is "Pulhoue" in 1252, and is so called from the Olde English "pol", pool, and the Old Norse "haugr", hill, mound; hence, "hill by the pool". As a topographical surname, Pulley or Polley denoted residence near low-lying land or an enclosure by a pool, from the Olde English "pol", and either "eg", island, dry land in a fen, or "(ge)haeg", as before. William Polleye is recorded in Colchester, Essex, in 1346, and the marriage of John Pulley and Ann Little was recorded on July 24th 1593, at Little Ilford, Essex. The family Coat of Arms is per saltire gold and black. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Polhey, which was dated 1248, in the "Feet of Fines of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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