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BRADLEY Family History

This is an early medieval Anglo-Scottish surname. Recorded in a surprising number of spellings including Bradly, Bradley, Braudly, Broadley, Bruidley, Braidley, Breadley, Bradlie, Bradeley, Pradley, and Radley, it is residential and originates either from the varied villages called Bradley, or from now lost places which had the meaning of a 'broad clearing suitable for agriculture'. Derived from the pre 7th century English word "brad-leah", a large number of the English places are recorded in the famous Domesday Book of William, the Conqueror in 1086. Given a little French twist the spellings shown are Bradelei, Bradelea, and Bradelie, and from these it is easy to see how many of the later variant surname forms developed...

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