This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of the places so called; near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, recorded as "Apperleg" in the Book of Fees in 1212; and in Northumberland, appearing as "Appeltreleg" in the Feet of Fines in 1201. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "apuldor-leah", composed of "apuldor", apple tree and "leah", a wood; hence "an apple-tree wood". There are places called Apperley Bridge in Yorkshire; Apperley Dene in Northumberland; and Lower Apperley in Gloucestershire. Locational surnames were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. Early examples include Thomas de Apperleye, who is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1280, and Walter Appurlee, mentioned in the Calendar of Inquisitions (Gloucestershire), in 1372. Charles James Apperley (1779 - 1843) was a notable sporting writer, known as "Nimrod", who contributed to the "Sporting Magazine" and "Sporting Review". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Apperlee, which was dated 1221, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.

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