Show ContentsBlakley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Blakley 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 Blakley family

The surname Blakley 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 Blakley family

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

Blakley Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Blakley has undergone many spelling variations, including Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.

Early Notables of the Blakley family (pre 1700)

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

Blakley Ranking

In the United States, the name Blakley is the 8,149th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Blakley family to Ireland

Some of the Blakley 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 Blakley migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Blakley were among those contributors:

Blakley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Blakley, aged 32, who arrived in New York in 1812 [7]

Canada Blakley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Blakley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Chambers Blakley, "Blakely" U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [8]
Blakley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Francis Blakley, aged 16 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Christiana" departing 8th April 1847 from Londonderry, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blakley (post 1700) +

  • William Arvis "Dollar Bill" Blakley (1898-1976), American politician and businessman, United States Senator from Texas in 1961
  • Ronee Blakley (b. 1945), American Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominated actress and singer, best known for her role in Nashville (1975) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • George Robert "Bob" Blakley, American cryptographer and mathematician, professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University
  • Dwayne David Blakley (b. 1979), American NFL football tight end
  • Lin Blakley, born Linda E. Stevens, and English actress, known for her role as Pam Coker in the BBC soap opera, EastEnders
  • Alan David Blakley (1942-1996), English guitarist and record producer, member of the Tremeloes
  • Claudia "Claudie" Blakley (b. 1974), English actress, winner of the Ian Charleson Award in 1998, daughter of Alan Blakely

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. 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
  9. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65) on Facebook