- This interesting and unusual name is of English origin and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Dursley from a place so called Gloucestershire. An early form of this placename is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire as "Derseleie" in 1195, and the derivation is from an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Deorsige", an unknown origin, with "leah", a grove. The first element of this name "deor" is an Olde English word for an animal. In modern idiom the variants include, Dearsley and Derisly. In the Middle Ages it became increasingly common for people to migrate further a field from their birth place, seeking work, and it became customary to adopt, or be given their village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in the wide dispersal of the name. One Charles Derisley the infant son of Charles and Mary Derisley was christened on December 14th 1715 at St. Andrews, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Dearsley, witness, which was dated 3rd January 1590, Earls Colne, Essex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.