This uncommon yet long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Smalley in the parish of Morley, near the city of Derby in Derbyshire. The place is recorded as "Smalleage" in 1009, and as "Smalei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and derives its name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "smael", narrow, small, and "leah", thin wood, glade, clearing in a wood. Locational surnames such as this were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace.Early examples of the surname include: Alicia Smalhaghe, in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns of 1379, and Richard de Smalley, in the Warwickshire Feet of Fines for 1388 - 1389. Among the recordings of the name in Church Registers are those of the marriages of William Smalley and Mary Boley, in Prestwold, Leicestershire, on June 26th 1576, and of Edward Smalley and Anna Spude, on January 1st 1597, at Ilkeston, Derbyshire. The family Coat of Arms is blazoned as follows: sable (black) on a bend argent (silver) three roses gules (red) barbed and seeded proper, in the sinister chief point a chessrook of the second (silver). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Smalleghes, which was dated 1325, in the "Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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