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About the study
The purpose of my study is to collect and share information about the Langleys of Northamptonshire, England and adjacent counties.
Langley is a fairly common surname, and we know from DNA testing that there are at least 13 genetically different Langley families. For that reason I have chosen to focus on my own family - the Langleys of Northamptonshire.
However, over the years I have collected information about Langleys from around the world and I correspond regularly with Langleys from other families. So if you have questions about Langley, please let me know and I will do my best to help.
The Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4) lists the following three potential sources for the LANGLEY surname:
- Habitational name from any of the numerous places named with Old English lang 'long' + leah 'wood', 'glade'; or a topographic name with the same meaning.
- English: from the Old Norse female personal name Langlíf, composed of the elements lang 'long' + líf 'life'.
- Americanised spelling of French Langlais
Historical occurrences of the name
A famous medieval Langley is Thomas Langley (1363-1437), Chancellor to several Lancastrian kings and Bishop of Durham. A biography of him by Ian Sharman is worth reading (ISBN 0-953-7657-0-9).
More recently, Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute and a pioneer of manned flight.