This locational name of DENERLEY was from a place of the name in Lancashire, literally meaning the dweller at the hidden and solitary clearing. The place was in the parish of Rochdale, now a separate ecclesiastical district. The name was originally derived from the Old English word DERNYLEGH, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be DERNYLEGH (without surname) who was recorded in 1324 in County Lancashire. The names of habitation, which are the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held and perhaps owned his land. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. Other records of the name mention Richard Dearneley of Manchester, who appears in East Cheshire in the year 1677. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The name has numerous variant spellings which include Dearnaly, Dearnaley, Dearnly, Dennerley, and Dennerly. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Denley). The lion is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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