Blakesley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Blakesley dates back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Blæcleah which meant "dark wood" or "dark clearing". The hamlet of Blackley was mentioned in the Domesday Book and little growth of the community was seen until the 19th century. By the middle of the 17th century Blackley was a village of just 107 inhabitants. Today Blackley is a suburb of Manchester with a population of over 10,000 people. There is also a hamlet named Blackey in West Yorkshire.

Early Origins of the Blakesley family

The surname Blakesley was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Blakesley Hall is a Tudor hall on Blakesley Road in Yardley, Birmingham, England. Originally a timber-framed farmhouse, it was built in 1590.

Important Dates for the Blakesley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blakesley research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1321 and are included under the topic Early Blakesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blakesley Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Blakesley family name include Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.

Early Notables of the Blakesley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Blakesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Blakesley family to Ireland

Some of the Blakesley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blakesley migration to the United States

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Blakesley surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Blakesley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Blakesley, who landed in Connecticut in 1635 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blakesley (post 1700)

  • James Tilton "Jim" Blakesley (1896-1965), nicknamed Sunny Jim, an American minor league baseball player who hit over 200 career home runs
  • Joseph Williams Blakesley (1808-1885), English clergyman, canon of Canterbury Cathedral in 1863 and Dean of Lincoln in 1872
  • Rosalind Polly Blakesley, née Gray, British reader in Russian and European art and fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, trustee of the National Portrait Gallery
  • Nora Ratcliff Blakesley (1913-2009), birth name of Nora Ratcliff David, Baroness David, a British Labour Party politician and life peer

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  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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