Gatley

Gatley - what does Gatley surname mean?

Recorded as Gatly, Gatley, Gateleye, Gaitley, Gautley and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from one of the places called Gateley in Norfolk, or Gatley in Cheshire and Herefordshire. Gateley in Norfolk is recorded as Gatelea in the Domesday Book of 1086 and means the clearing where goats were kept. This is derived from the pre 7th century word `gat`, meaning goat and `leah`, a clearing in a wood. Gatley in Cheshire was `Gatsclyve` in the year 1290, and the translation is is goat`s cliff, presumaly a very steep place accesible only to a goat. Gatley in Herefordshire was `Gatesleg` in 1230 and means `the clearing by the road`, from the Scandanavian `geat`, meaning a road or street, with `leah` as above. The surname development includes Simon de Gatle of Kent in 1203 and Henry Gateleye of Worcestershire in 1327. Recordings in the city of London include the christening of Jane Gaitley, the daughter of Thomas Gaitley at St Margarets Westminster, on April 1st 1609, and the marriage of Anne Gateley and Richard Astell at All Hallows, London Wall, on the 18th January 1665. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Gateleia, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book (Norfolk), during the reign of King William 1, known as `The Conqueror`, 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to `develop` often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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