In the US, the Kerley family, often spelled Cearley, Carley and other ways, are mostly descendants of a William Kerley, born about 1592 in Ashmore, Dorset, England.
Book by Luther Green Jr. states that the Kerleys came from County of Dorsett, England to colony of Massachusettes on the Confidence of London 1638 with John Gibson as master of the ship. Wm. Kerley listed as passenger with wife Anna, daughter of Thomas King. Unknown whether this was William Sr. or William Jr. whose wife was Ann or Anna. Both wives names were Ann or Anna.
My wife, a Cearley by birth, descends from this family.
It is believed that the name originated in Ireland, as MacFhearghaile. Over time, the "Mac" being a common prefix meaning "son", the "M" sound was not pronounced in favor of the "C", hence MacFhearghaile becomes "Cerril", Keryl, or similar, deriving to Kerley, Cearley, Kearley.
More info can be found at Webcatt's site at http://www.webcatt.com/Genealogy/Kerley/name_origins.html
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