This is an English locational surname. Recorded in the spellings of Sudeley and Sully, although nearly always in the latter form, it is an excellent example of how a local dialect completely changed the spelling of a name. The derivation is from the village of Sudeley in the county of Gloucester, first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 in the spelling of 'Sudlege'. This translates as 'the leah (farm or enclosure) to the sud' (south), the inference being that this was a small farm or settlement to the south of the main village. Local dialects being in medieval times almost individual languages, the development of 'slang' spellings such as Brummiger for Birmingham or Suthell for Southwell, proceeded at a merry pace. Even the very first known recording, that of Bartholmew de Sulley in the Hundred Rolls of Gloucester for 1272, is also quantified as Bartholew de Sudeley. The surname was also well recorded in medieval Devonshire, showing how even in those times people travelled widely in search of better prospects. These early recordings include Walter de Sully and Reymond de Suley, in 1293, whilst Adam de Sullegh is recorded in Somerset in the year 1328.
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