This most interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Shrawley, a parish and hamlet south of Stourport in Worcestershire, which was recorded as "Scraefleh, Screfleh" in 804 in the Saxon Chartulary, and as "Escreueleia" circa 1150, in the Early Worcestershire Surveys. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "scraef", cave, den, hovel, or as in this case referring perhaps to a recess in the hill close by, and the Olde English "leah", an open place in a wood, glade.During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Early recordings of the name include the marriage of Elizabeth Shralley and Ric Bentton on October 30th 1593, at Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire; the marriage of An Shrawley to Roger Smith, also at Chaddesley Corbett, on October 13th 1595; the christening of Rychard Srawlley on October 13th 1603, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London; and the marriage of Eliner Srawley to Benjamin Thomas at St. Swithin's, Worcestershire, on December 18th 1726. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Shrawley, which was dated October 31st 1564, marriage to Joane Smythe, at Wolverley, Worcestershire, 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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