This surname OLEY is a variant of Doyle. The name was of local origin 'of de Ouilli' in Normandy, France. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The earliest of the name recorded appears to be Robert Oilgi who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Robert de Olleyo was documented in 1140 in Oxfordshire, and Henry de Olli appears in 1156 in London. Following the Crusades in England in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth. This was recognized by those of noble blood, as they realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Other records of the name mention John Doly, County Somerset, during the reign of Edward 1 (1272-1307). Edward Dailley of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Robert Oylly was recorded in County Lancashire in 1400. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name include John Dolly who was buried at Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1729.
Peter Harris married Ann Dolly at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair in the year 1744. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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