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Matley Coat of Arms / Matley Family Crest

Matley Coat of Arms / Matley Family Crest

The surname of MATLEY was of the locational group of surnames 'one who came from MATLEY' a township in the parish of Mottram, County Cheshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. The earliest of the name on record appears to be William de MATTLEGH who was recorded in the year 1316 in East Cheshire. The earliest English placenames were those taken over by the Anglo-Saxons from the Britons at the time of their settlement in Britain between the 5th and 6th centuries. It was after the Norman Conquest of 1066 that hereditary surnames began to be used. Many of the incoming Normans identified themselves by reference to the estates from which they had come in Northern France, and others took names from the places in England in which they settled. Hugh de MATTELEGH was documented in Cheshire in 1320, and Richard de MATTLEGH appears in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. Later instances of the name mention James MATLEY of Rixton, who was recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1635, and Alice MATLEY appears in the same Wills in 1635. Matthew MATLEY and Martha Bottamly, were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1794. Most of the European surnames 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.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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