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Hadley Genealogy and Hadley Family History Information

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About the Hadley surname

THE NAME. The etymology of the name, Hadley, or, as it is sometimes spelled, Hadleigh, has been variously given by authorities. Lysons, the author of "London and Its Environs," states that the name is composed of two Saxon words, head^ high or elevated, and leagh^ place or situation, sometimes a pasture. Another authority. Rev. Mr. Pigot, formerly curate of Hadleigh, in Suffolk, and author of a brief, but exceedingly well written and interesting history of that town, says the name is derived from two Saxon words meaning chief town, and adds that " some have thought the words imply an extended meadow," which last etymology he rejects as too fanciful. The weight of authority, however, is decidedly in favor of the derivation first given, and I have no doubt it is the correct one. There are, in England, three places bearing the name 1.—Hadleigh (originally spelt Hadley), a market town in the county of Suffolk. It is situated upon a branch of the Great Eastern Railway, about forty miles from London, and has a population of about three thousand. It is a curious and interesting old town, and contains a fine church of great antiquity, a former rector being Rev. Rowland Taylor, whose persecution and death are familiar to the readers of " Fox's Book of Martyrs." Hadlej', Mass., was named for this town, some of the first settlers having resided there before emigrating to this country. 2.—Hadley, in Essex, about three miles north west of Leigh, a small parish in which are the ruins of a fine castle, built in the reign of Henry II., by De Burgh, Earl of Kent. 3.—Hadley, or Monken Hadley, Hadley of the Monks, in allusion to its religious character, having been the seat of a body of monks, in Middlesex, near London. It contains the remains of a church, upon which is a beacon, which was lighted at the Restoration. Near this place the battle of Barnet was fought, in 1471, between the forces of Edward IV. and the Earl of Warwick. It is at present the home of a number of the landed gentry ; " Hadley House " is one of its finest private residences. From: GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF THE DESCENDANTS OF Moses Hadley and Rebecca Page, OF HUDSON, N. H, TOGETHER WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF GEORGE HADLEY, OF IPSWICH, MASS. AND HIS DESCENDANTS. BY SAMUEL PAGE HADLEY OF LOWELL, MASS.