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ROWLEY Family History

This famous English name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the various places called Rowley in Devonshire, County Durham, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. The place in Devonshire is recorded as "Rodeleia" in the Domesday Book of 1086; that in Durham was recorded as "Ruley" in 1229; Rowley in Staffordshire was found as "Roelea" in the 1173 Pipe Rolls of the county; while the Rowleys in East and West Yorkshire are both recorded as "Ruley" in 1227 and 1246 respectively. All the places share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the rough wood or clearing", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ruh", rough, overgrown, with "leah", thin wood, glade, clearing in a wood...

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