This name, with variant spellings Satterlee and Satterl(e)y, is of English locational origin from a place in Devon called Satterleigh. Recorded as Saterlei in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Saterleye in the 1277 Fine Court Rolls of the county the name is believed to derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'saetere', a rubber, plus 'leah', a glade or clearing in a wood, hence, the Robbers 'leah' or hideout. The surname is particularly well recorded in Devonshire Church Registers from the latter half of the 16th Century, (see below). On November 8th 1623 Petrus Saturley, an infant was christened in Ashburton, and on August 21st 1631 Alice Saturley was christened in Moreton Hampstead. The spellings Saturleigh and Sat(t)erleigh, most closely resembling the modern placename appear in 1631 and 1643 respectively. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Satterlie, daughter of Nicholai Satterlie, which was dated October 15th 1573, christened in Bovey Tracey, Devon, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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