Blakeley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Blakeley 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.

Early Origins of the Blakeley family

The surname Blakeley was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Blakesley Hall is a Tudor hall on Blakesley Road in Yardley, Birmingham, England. Originally a timber-framed farmhouse, it was built in 1590.

Early History of the Blakeley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blakeley research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1321 and are included under the topic Early Blakeley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blakeley 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 Blakeley include Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.

Early Notables of the Blakeley family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Blakeley family to Ireland

Some of the Blakeley 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 Blakeley migration to the United States +

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 Blakeley or a variant listed above:

Blakeley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Blakeley, who landed in Maryland in 1664 [1]
Blakeley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W G Blakeley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]

Canada Blakeley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Blakeley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Chambers Blakeley, "Blakely" U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [2]
  • Mr. James Blakeley U.E. who settled in Prince Edward County, Ontario c. 1783 [2]
  • Mrs. Margaret Blakeley U.E. (née Flynn) who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [2]
Blakeley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John, Blakeley Jr., who arrived in Canada in 1833

Australia Blakeley migration to Australia +

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

Blakeley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Blakeley, English convict who was convicted in Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Emma Blakeley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839 [4]
  • Sarah Ann Blakeley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839 [4]
  • Ziliah Blakeley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1848 [5]
  • George Blakeley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ascendant" in 1849 [6]

New Zealand Blakeley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Blakeley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Blakeley, (b. 1838), aged 23, Irish labourer, from Antrim travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Rhea Sylvia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd May 1861 [7]
  • Mrs. Catherine Blakeley, (b. 1841), aged 20, Irish settler, from Antrim travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Rhea Sylvia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd May 1861 [7]
  • Mr. William Blakeley, (b. 1860), aged 1, Irish settler, from Antrim travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Rhea Sylvia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd May 1861 [7]
  • Mr. William John Blakeley, (b. 1819), aged 44, Irish labourer, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [7]
  • Mrs. Mary Blakeley, (b. 1820), aged 43, Irish settler, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Blakeley (post 1700) +

  • Robert Wilson Blakeley (1922-2017), American graphic designer, best known for making the fallout shelter sign
  • Eric Blakeley (b. 1965), American mountaineer, adventurer, and television journalist
  • Billie Buie Blakeley (1934-2010), American basketball coach
  • Major-General Harold Whittle Blakeley (1893-1966), American Commanding Officer, 4th Division, North-West Europe (1944-1946) [8]
  • Paul Malcolm Blakeley (b. 1964), former English cricketer
  • Steve Blakeley, English former professional rugby league footballer
  • Richard Lee Blakeley (1971-2017), British opera and theatre director
  • Lee Blakeley (b. 1971), British Opera and Theatre director
  • Peter Blakeley, Australian Adult Contemporary singer and songwriter
  • Steven Blakeley (b. 1982), British actor
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIR CHARLES FORBES (originally Charles Forbes) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839SirCharlesForbes.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FORFARSHIRE 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Forfarshire.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ASCENDANT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Ascendant.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Harold Blakeley. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Blakeley/Harold_Whittle/USA.html


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