This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place so called in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or from Yeardsley in the bordering county of Cheshire. The former was first recorded as "Eureslage" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Euereslai" in the 1176 Pipe Rolls of that county. The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "eofor", a boar, and "leah", a wood; hence, "boar wood". Everley in Yorkshire; Everley in Wiltshire; and Eversley in Hampshire, share the same derivation.However, Yeardsley in Cheshire, recorded as "Hurthesle" in 1285, translates as "Eored's leah", i.e. wood. The surnames Yearsley and Yeardsley are particularly well recorded in the Registers of St. Helen's Church, Cheshire, from the mid 16th Century. These recordings include: the marriage of Clarrishe Yearsley and Randal Poole on September 30th 1565, and the marriage of Edward Yeardsley and Jane Cooke on May 19th 1582. On June 7th 1826, Mary Yearsley and John Hughes were married at St. Peter's, Leeds, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willmi Yearsley, which was dated December 10th 1564, witness at the christening of his son, Edward, at St. Helen's, Witton, Cheshire, 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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