This picturesque and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a dialectal variant of a locational name Southery, from a place so called in Norfolk. The placename was recorded first in the Saxon Charters of 774 as "Suthereye", in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Sutreia", and in Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds of 1095 as "Suthereie". The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "suther" or "sutherra" south, with "Eg", an island. It may also be that this name is topographical for a dweller by or in the southern grove, with the same derivation for the first element as above, and the second element deriving from the Old English "leah", a grove. Among the sample recordings in Norfolk is the marriage of John Sutherley and Elizabeth Bond on November 30th 1830 at Norwich, and in Yorkshire the christening of Charles Hebson Sutherley on January 2nd 1856 at Market Weighton. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fraunis Sutherly, which was dated July 20th 1660, St. Duntan's, Stepney, during the reign of King Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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