Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Mrs Cheryl Turner
I started researching my family history about six years ago and my maternal grandfather was an Owen Rackley from Pinner, Middlesex, UK. I have been able to trace the line back as far as John Rackley, who was born abt 1796 and who according to the 1841 Census was employed as a groom and living in the Hamlet of Pinner at this time.
Whilst doing my research into my grandfather’s family I have discovered Rackley ancestors in Australia and I am at present adding this extensive extended branch to my tree.
I am definitely very new to the world of One Name Studies, so at the moment the research I have done with regards to the surname Rackley only at present is in relation to my own ancestors. I am looking to further expand my study of this name and I am in the process of collecting data with regard to this.
I would welcome anyone who has a connection to this surname to get in touch.
Looking for the origin of this surname using various sources available online has produced different findings.
According to the Surname Database this is an English surname. Recorded as Rocklay, Rockley, Rockly, Rockle, Rocklie, and sometimes the dialectal Rackley, it is locational and almost certainly from the village of Rockley in the county of Wiltshire. First recorded as Rochlie in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and later in the Crusader rolls of 1185 as Roclee, the place name and hence the later surname, means 'rook - wood.' This is from the pre 7th century Olde English words 'hroc leagh'.
Ancestry.com, however describe the meaning as being English (mainly Berkshire): apparently a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place, which would derive its name from Old English hreac ‘mound’ (compare Rackham) or hraca ‘throat’, ‘gulley’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’.
House of Names website describes the name as follows: The Rackley surname is a habitational name from a place in Sussex, so named from Old English words "hreac," meaning "mound," and "ham," or "homestead."
According to “Ancestry Rackley Name & Meaning & Rackley Family History” at Ancestry.co.uk between 1840 and 1920 the Rackley family name was found in the USA, UK, Canada and Scotland. By1880 the most Rackley families were found to be in the USA. In 1891 the highest most recorded Rackley families in the UK were in Nottinghamshire.
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