The Audley Name and the Domesday Book


The information on this page and in the linked file is based on the information in
 The Entry for the village of Audley, Staffordshire in the Domesday Book
The file below contains information from the Domesday Book that is relevant to the village of Audley, Staffordshire and the Audley surname.

        The Domesday Book (file last updated 5th January 2014)

The following conclusions can be drawn from the Domesday Book regarding the Audley Name.

      1. There is only one place in the Domessday book called Audley (even though it was spelt Aldidlege). It can therefore be concluded that the Audley surname had developed from this single village. Currently in England there are 5 other places with Audley in their name, it is concluded that those places were named after a person called Audley. It should be noted that although there is single locational source for the Audley surname this does not necessarily mean that that all people with the Audley surname share a Common ancestor. For example a number of unrelated people who lived in the village of Audley could have been styled as ‘of Audley’ which in time reduced to the surname Audley.
      2. The village of Audley was in existence by 1066. P H Reaney in his dictionary of English Surnames proposes that the origin of the Audley name is Old English suggesting that the name is of Saxon origin rather than Norman origin. From this one can conclude that comments such as:
            • The first known ancestor was a certain Adam de Audleigh or Aldithlega, so named from the paternal estate of Audithlegh in Normandy’ by James Croston FSA and published in 1887 ‘County Families of Lancashire & Cheshire’;


            • The first ancestor on record is one Adam de Audithlegh,………, and who derived his name from his paternal estate of Audithlegh in Normandy’ by Lionel M Angus- Butterworth FRGS FZS FSA Scot and published in 1932 (reprinted 1970) ‘ Old Cheshire Families and their Seats’;

are almost certainly incorrect.

From the Domesday book it is more difficult to assess whether the ancestors of early people who bore the title Lord or Baron Audley were Normans who came over with William or Saxons who adopted Norman ways and names to fit in with their overlords. The Domesday book shows:

      1. In 1086 the Lord and Tenant in Chief of Audley was Gamel son of Gruffydd. This appears to be a Saxon Name and not Norman.
      2. In 1886 the Lord and Tenant in Chief of Heighley (where {Z5} Henry de Aldithley built his castle in the 1220s) was King William

The Great Domesday Book