Recorded in the spellings of Blockey and Blockley, there are two possible sources of this traditional English locational surname. The first is that it originates from Blockley, a parish in the county of Worcester in the West Country, and the second that it is from the similarly named Blakey in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Both have the probable derivation from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'blaec', meaning dark or black and 'leah', an enclosure or pasture. Blockley is first recorded as 'Bloccanleeh' in the Ancient Village list of 855 a.d. whilst Blakey is first recorded in the register known as the 'Feet of Fines' for Yorkshire in 1223, and then as "Blakehou". The following recording examples illustrate the name development: Margaret Blakye at Bingley in Yorkshire in 1598, Jane Blokey at the town of Northallerton, also Yorkshire in 1695, and Anne Blockey, who was christened at Tosside, Yorkshire, on May 9th 1776. An early recording is that of Sarah Blakey, which was dated October 17th 1553, at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, but the first recording of all is believed to be that of Geoffrey de Blockeleye, at Cambridge, in the Hundred Rolls of the year 1273. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots' 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.