Bleklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Bleklay 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 Bleklay family
The surname Bleklay 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 Bleklay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bleklay research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1587, 1601, 1615, 1473, 1662 and are included under the topic Early Bleklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bleklay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bleklay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bleklay include: Blackley, Blakely, Blakley, Blacklee, Blackely, Blackledge, Blacklege, Blatchly and many more.
Early Notables of the Bleklay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bleklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bleklay family to Ireland
Some of the Bleklay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Bleklay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bleklay or a variant listed above: 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.