This interesting surname, with variant spellings Walmisley, Walmsley, Wamsley, Warmsley, Walmsley and Waumsley, is of English locational origin either from Walmersley, north of Bury in Lancashire, or from Walmsley, an ecclesiastical district in Bolton-le-Moors parish, north of Bolton, Lancashire. The former place, first recorded as Walmeresley in the 1246, Assize Court Rolls of that county, and as Walmerslegh in 1332, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century, "wald", a wood, plus, "mere", lake, (or "(ge)maere", boundary) and "leah", a wood; hence, "lake by the wood", or "boundary of the wood". The latter place is believed to have as its first element the genitive case of the Olde English personal name Wealhmoer "foreign-famous" or Wealdmoer "rule-famous", (probably the name of an early owner), plus "leah", wood. On December 2nd 1570, Dorothy Walmsley and William Cowper were married in Kirkham, Lancashire, and on February 1st 1591, Mary, daughter of Peter Waumesley, was christened in St. Botolph's, Lincoln, Lincolnshire. The marriage of Henry Waumsley and Margery Longworth took place in Kyme, Lincolnshire, on February 23rd 1594. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Walmeresleghe, which was dated 1332, The Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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