Recorded in the spellings of Puckley, Puxly, and Puxley, this is an English locational surname of post medieval origins. It derives from the Northamptonshire village of Puxley, a village with truly ancient antecedents. The name means "the farm of the Goblin", from the pre 7th century words "pucca" - a goblin and "leah", a fenced farm or enclosure. People of ancient times were convinced of the existence of goblins and other things that "go bump in the night", and the early Christians spent several centuries trying to convince the locals of the error of their ways. This was not easy, particularly as "The church" itself had a few ghosts and goblins of its own! Puxley was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Pucceleye", although the surname itself is several centuries later. Like most locational surnames it was usually given to people after they left their home village and moved elsewhere. It was then, and it often remains so in the 20th century, that the easiest way to identify a "stranger" is to call him or her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from London area registers include John Puxley, at the church of St Mary Whiechapel, on February 24th 1669, Henry Puxly, at St Andrews, Holborn, on November 16th 1761, and John William Puxley, at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on May 25th 1856.
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