Blackesley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Blackesley 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 Blackesley family
The surname Blackesley 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 Blackesley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blackesley research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1587, 1601, 1615, 1473, 1662 and are included under the topic Early Blackesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blackesley Spelling Variations
Blackesley has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.
Early Notables of the Blackesley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Blackesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blackesley family to Ireland
Some of the Blackesley 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 Blackesley family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Blackesleys to arrive on North American shores: 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)