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Surname Apley - Meaning and Origin

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Apley: What does the surname Apley mean?

The last name Apley is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Old English elements ap, meaning apple, and leah, meaning meadow or clearing. It is likely that this surname was first used to denote someone who lived near an orchard or other area where apples were grown.

Apley is generally considered to be an English surname, although there have been sightings of the name across the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries. It is said that the name was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, referring to a man named Leui who held lands in the county of Hereford.

The Apley name is shared by some English nobility, as the Apley family was established and granted lands by King Edward I of England in 1320. The family went on to attain the title of Baron Apley of Apley, Shropshire in 1747.

Today the surname Apley is a respectable and distinguished name, having been used for centuries and providing generations with a common identity. This name also carries a sense of pride and strength as it has withstood the test of time.

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Apley: Where does the name Apley come from?

The surname Apley is found throughout Britain, but is more commonly found in Northern England. It is especially popular in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire, and may be found elsewhere in greater numbers in those areas. The highest population of Apleys can be found in the former county of Staffordshire, where approximately 5,000 people bear the surname.

Apley is also prevalent in the United States. Data from the 1890 US Census shows that the surname was most common in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. It steadily moved north with the population expansion before branching out to the West Coast and other areas. Today, the surname can be found in all US states, with California, Florida, and Texas having the highest concentration of Apleys.

Apley is an Anglo-Saxon name, so its spread throughout England and the United States is not surprising. The name had two meanings in Old English, denoting both “apple orchard” and “apple tree”. Throughout the years the name travelled with families, settlements, and businesses, so its geographical dispersal is quite broad.

In Britain, the Apley family have made an impression throughout history. The Apley family of Shropshire dates back to the 12th century and stretches up to the present day. The family is well known for producing a wealth of prominent figures, such as William Apley (15th partsidiary of Halston Manor), Charles Apley (recorder of Westminster in 16th century London), and John Apley (17th recorder of the city of Hereford).

Variations of the surname Apley

The surname Apley is of English origin and derived from a place name. Apley is a locational surname meaning someone from Apley, which is a village in Shropshire, England. This place is mentioned as Apelai in the Domesday book of 1086.

Apley is also found as Appley, Apule and Apulley. Other variants are Apateley, Apatley, Appleby, Apbley and Aplee.

Apley is also used as a first name and is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the Old English words Æppel and lēah which mean, respectively, “apple tree” and “forest clearing”.

Other derivatives of Apley include Appoley, Apolley, Applelee, Appel, Applebye, Applet, Apelay, Apelley, Appleyard, Appleye, Appletun, Applegate, and Appell.

The Apley family name is derived from the name of numerous settlements in England. These settlements included Apley in Shropshire and Appleby in Leicestershire. The surname may have also originated from an old English given name, Apelingus, which is derived from the Old English words Æppel and lēah, meaning “apple tree” and “forest clearing”, respectively.

The Apley family settled in the United States in the late 17th century. Early immigrants and settlers include: Dr. Richard Apley who arrived in colonial America in 1649 from England and settled in Virginia; Jacob Appleye who arrived in Philadelphia in 1761; and James Apelay who settled in Maryland in 1775.

Famous people with the name Apley

  • Adele Apley: an American actress, best known for her role in the 1982 movie Annie
  • Walter Apley: an American lawyer, best known for his advocacy with the United States Supreme Court
  • Elizabeth Apley: an American artist, best known for her Impressionistic paintings of landscapes and seascapes
  • Paul Apley: an English historian, specialising in the economy and society of the Roman Empire
  • John Apley: an Irish novelist, best known for his award-winning books The Pamphlet and The Widow of Rose Hill
  • Philip Apley: an Australian composer, best known for his numerous concert works, such as his Three Orchestral Suites
  • Frank Apley: an American political theorist, best known for his writing on the history of the American Revolution
  • Tom Apley: an English sculptor, best known for his terracotta works, such as the large figures he sculpted for the first Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree in 1948
  • Harriet Apley: an American author, best known for her novel The Bluebells of Scotland, adapted in a 1965 movie of the same name
  • Mary Apley: an American swimmer, best known for her Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 1996 Summer Olympics

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