The ultimate origin of this interesting name is believed to be Verli, a place in Aisne, Picardy (Northern France), so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name "Virilius", a derivative of "Virilis", male, from "vir", a man, plus the locational suffix "-acum", a settlement. One Robert de Verli, a French lord, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, was granted the manor of Salcott, Essex. This placename, appearing as "Salcota" in the Domesday Book, means "shelter or cottage (Olde English pre 7th Century "cot"), where salt was made or stored". In 1291, the manor was recorded as "Salcote Verly" incorporating the master's surname, and in the modern idiom appears as Virley. The spelling Varley, a variant form of Virli or Verl(e)y, had emerged by the early 14th Century (see below). On January 22nd 1540, William Varley and Johan Necke were married in Knowstone, Devonshire, and on December 24th 1577, Alizia, daughter of Willmi Varley, was christened in Gisburn, Yorkshire. Further variants of the name appear in the following entry: William Varleigh or Varly, in the Oxford University Register, 1596. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Varley, which was dated 1316, in "Documents relating to Feudal Aids", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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