Marley is an English-language surname with numerous etymological origins. In many cases, the surname is derived from any of several like-named placenames in England, such as those in Devon, Kent, Lancashire (Mearley), Sussex (Marley Farm) and West Yorkshire. The placenames in Devon, Kent, and West Yorkshire are, in part, derived from the Old English element leah, meaning "woodland clearing". Early forms of the surname are de Merlai, in about 1145-1165; de Mardele, in 1208; de Marley, in 1285; and de Marleye, in 1306. In the 17th century, the surname was taken to Ireland by a family from Northumbria. However, in some cases the surname in Ireland may be an Anglicised form of the Irish-language Ó Mearthaile (another suggestion is Ó Mearlaigh; it is unlikely to be an Anglicised form of Ó Murghaile). Notable people with the surname include:
- Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician
Notable members of Bob Marley's family include:
- Rita Marley, singer
- Cedella Marley Booker, singer and writer, and mother of Bob Marley
- Cedella Marley, musician and clothing designer, daughter of Bob Marley
- Damian Marley, reggae musician
- Julian Marley, reggae musician
- Ky-Mani Marley, reggae musician
- Ziggy Marley, reggae musician
- Stephen Marley (musician), son of Bob Marley
- Rohan Marley, former pro football player
- Norval Marley, father of Bob Marley
- Mickey Marley, a Northern Irish street entertainer
- Stephen Marley (writer), British author and game designer
- Jacob Marley, fictional character in A Christmas Carol
- Reaney, Percy Hilde (1995), Wilson, Richard Middlewood, ed., A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 299, ISBN 0-19-8631464.
- Marley Family History, Ancestry.com, retrieved 6 May 2012. This webpage cites Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4.
- MacLysaght, Edward (1964), A guide to Irish surnames (2nd ed.), Genealogical Book Company, p. 147.
- MacLysaght, Edward (1964), Supplement to Irish families, Genealogical Book Company, p. 109.
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