Blacelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Blacelay 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.
The Blackledge variant is interesting. It was derived from Black-lake, which evolved into Blackleach. "Probably the spot mentioned in a charter c. 1200 connected with property in Wilmslow parish, East Cheshire, from which district the name in most cases is undoubtedly sprung. " 
Early Origins of the Blacelay family
The surname Blacelay was first found in Lancashire at Blackley, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Manchester, hundred of Salford.  The first record of this chapelry was in 1282 when it was known as Blakeley and literally meant "dark wood or clearing," for the Old English "blaec" + "leah." 
Today Blakesley Hall is a Tudor hall on Blakesley Road in Yardley, Birmingham, England. Originally a timber-framed farmhouse, it was built in 1590.
Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Adam de Blakeneye, alias Adam de Blakeleye, London was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. In Cheshire, the Wills at Chester included: Jane Blakeley, of Bury, widow; and Ralph Blakeley, of Bury.  John Blakelache was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Lancashire in 1332. 
Much further to the north in Scotland, the first record was of Radulphus Blackley who was juror on inquest at Berwick, 1321. 
Early History of the Blacelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blacelay research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1587, 1601, 1615, 1473, 1662 and are included under the topic Early Blacelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blacelay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Blacelay include Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.
Early Notables of the Blacelay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Blacelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blacelay family to Ireland
Some of the Blacelay 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.
Migration of the Blacelay family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Blacelay or a variant listed above: Thomas Blackley who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635; Samuel Blackley who settled in New Haven, Connecticut and married Hannah Porter in 1650. He also lived at Guildford. He had three sons and two daughters. David Blakely settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)