- This interesting name is of English origin and is locational from a place so called in Gloucestershire, which was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Dersilege', in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1195 as 'Derseleie' and in the Fees of 1220 as 'Dursleg'. The derivation is from an Old English personal name 'Deorsige' with 'leah', a grove. During the Middle Ages, when it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their native homes, to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire, on February 16th 1696, one Mary Dursley married Joseph Bendall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willyam Dursley, which was dated August 26th 1669, Augustine-the-Less, Bristol, Avon, during the reign of King Charles 11, 'The Merry Monarch', 1660-1685. 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.