Blackley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Blackley 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. " [1]

Early Origins of the Blackley family

The surname Blackley was first found in Lancashire at Blackley, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Manchester, hundred of Salford. [2] 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." [3]

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. [1] John Blakelache was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Lancashire in 1332. [4]

Much further to the north in Scotland, the first record was of Radulphus Blackley who was juror on inquest at Berwick, 1321. [5]

Early History of the Blackley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blackley research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1587, 1601, 1615, 1473, 1662 and are included under the topic Early Blackley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blackley Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Blackley were recorded, including Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.

Early Notables of the Blackley family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Blackley family to Ireland

Some of the Blackley 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.


United States Blackley migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Blackley family emigrate to North America:

Blackley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Blackley who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Tho Blackley, aged 20, who landed in New England in 1635 [6]
  • Samuel Blackley who settled in New Haven, Connecticut and married Hannah Porter in 1650. He also lived at Guildford and had three sons and two daughters
Blackley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Blackley, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [6]

Australia Blackley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Blackley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Maria Blackley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constitution" in 1851 [7]
  • William Blackley, aged 32, a stone mason, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Ostrich" [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blackley (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier General Travers Robert Blackley (1899-1982), English army officer, British Military Governor of Libya (1943)
  • Jim Blackley (b. 1927), Canadian (Scottish born) drummer and percussion educator


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTITUTION 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Constitution.htm
  8. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 22nd July 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Ostrich 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/ostrich1854.shtml


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