The surname of KIGHTLEY was a locational name 'of Keighley' a well-known town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held land his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name has many variant spellings. Early records of the name mention Henry Kighele, County Lancashire, who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes de Kygheley of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. For the majority of the English speaking peoples, the main sources of names have been the traditions of the various Germanic tribes of Northern Europe, and the names introduced by the Church, perhaps Hebrew names of the Old Testament, or Greek and Roman names of the New Testament and saints. Many names were brought over to England by the invading Anglo-Saxons, a mixed collection of people from various Germanic tribes, speaking various dialects which were called Old English. Later instances of the name mention John Kighlye of County Lincolnshire who registered at Oxford University in 1576 and Robert Keigley was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1612. Joseph Dey and Margaret Keightley were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1662.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at Co. Lancashire, South Littleton, co. Worcester and Keighley, County York. 1569.
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