The surname of ALLEY was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'the dweller in the alley' a narrow passage or road. The earliest of the name on record appears to be ALLI (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Simon de ALLY of County Lancashire, who was listed during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Walter ALLEYE was recorded in Oxford in the year 1273, and Edward ALLY of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name include Thomas Hambledon and Ann ALLEY who were married in London in 1623 (no church recorded) and Sarah ALLEY (a foundling) was baptised at St. John The Baptist on Wallbrook, London in 1706. Thomas Boughin and Jane ALLEY were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1726.
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