Blaikelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Blaikelay 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 Blaikelay family
The surname Blaikelay 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 Blaikelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blaikelay research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1587, 1601, 1615, 1473, 1662 and are included under the topic Early Blaikelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blaikelay Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Blaikelay has appeared include Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.
Early Notables of the Blaikelay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Blaikelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blaikelay family to Ireland
Some of the Blaikelay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Blaikelay family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Blaikelay arrived in North America very early: 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.