Blakeslee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Blakeslee 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 Blakeslee family

The surname Blakeslee 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 Blakeslee family

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

Blakeslee Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Blakeslee include Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.

Early Notables of the Blakeslee family (pre 1700)

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

Blakeslee Ranking

In the United States, the name Blakeslee is the 9,160th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Blakeslee family to Ireland

Some of the Blakeslee 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 Blakeslee migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Blakeslee Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Blakeslee, who arrived in Connecticut in 1635 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blakeslee (post 1700) +

  • Donald Blakeslee (1971-2008), American fighter pilot recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross Distinguished Flying Cross (US and UK), Legion of Merit, Silver Star and Air Medal
  • Dick Blakeslee (1921-2000), American professor of English
  • Susan Blakeslee (b. 1966), American voice actress
  • George Hubbard Blakeslee (1871-1954), American historian
  • Albert Francis Blakeslee (1874-1954), American botanist
  • Donald J. Blakeslee, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the Royal Air Force then the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 14½ aerial victories
  • Charles Blakeslee Law (1872-1929), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1905-11; Defeated, 1910; State Court Judge in New York, 1916 [8]


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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