Recorded in the 'modern' spellings of Weakley, Weekely, Weekley, and Weekly, this is an English locational surname. It comes from the village of Weekley, near Kettering, in the county of Northamptonshire. The village has the distinction of being one of the first place names to be recorded anywhere. It appears in the charters known as 'Cartulium Saxoni', or in effect the Saxon gazetteer for the year 843 A.D., almost at the very beginning of written English history. These mainly land charters showing the important land holdings and above all land owners. There were no recognizable maps in those days, cartography being a skill not developed until the late medieval period. This was some five hundred years after 'Wicleaford' in its original spelling was first recorded. The original recording in itself is something of a puzzle, as the meaning would seem to have been 'the elm trees by the ford'. However in the famous Doomsday Book of 1086 the spelling becomes '"Wiclei", for which the translation may well be 'the enclosure (leah) amongst the elms'. Perhaps the ford dried up in the previous two hundred years or the clerks made a simple spelling error. What is certain is that the near spelling of 1086 has come down over nine hundred years. The surname is much later, an early example being Anne Weekely who is recorded as marrying Thomas Reyner at Bedford in 1647, whilst in 1702 Thomas Weekly married Jane Brown at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, London.
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