Beesly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Beesly is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Beesley, in the county of Lancashire.  The place name literally means 'woodland clearing' having derived from the Old English beos 'bent grass' + leah. 
However, one source claims the family came from Baslow, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Bakewell, hundred of High Peak in Derbyshire. 
Early Origins of the Beesly family
The surname Beesly was first found in Lancashire where Thomas de Besleg was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1246. 
While this is the generally accepted place of origin, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had no mention of the family there in later years, as these rolls listed Hugh filius Basilie, Nottinghamshire; Alan Basel, Cambridgeshire; Richard Baseli, Oxfordshire; John Basely, Cambridgeshire; and Michael Basely, Buckinghamshire. 
Early History of the Beesly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beesly research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1729, 1591, 1587, 1588 and 1591 are included under the topic Early Beesly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Beesly 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 Beesly family name include Beazley, Beasley, Beasely, Beesely, Beesley, Bezley, Beasey and many more.
Early Notables of the Beesly family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: George Beesley or Bisley (d. 1591), English Catholic missioner, born at a place called the Mount, in Goosnargh parish, in Lancashire. "Ordained priest in 1587 he was sent upon the English mission in 1588. Falling into the hands of the persecutors he was so frequently tortured by the notorious Topcliffe...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beesly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Beesly family to Ireland
Some of the Beesly family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Beesly migration to the United States ||+|
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, 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 Beesly surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Beesly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Thomas Beesly, who settled in Maryland in 1739
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)