I had traced back to my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, Richard Oakley and Elizabeth Blakeway, but could get no further.Fortunately, I discovered that my Oakleys descended from the line of "Oakley of Appleby", notably one Harold Whittall Oakley of The Old Rectory, Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, born 1906. We are both descended from Edward Ockley the Elder of Braginton Hall, Alberbury, Shropshire, and of Stretton.We share the same ancestors until the mid 1700s, when our paths split and we follow three separate brothers. I say "three' and not "two" as would normally be the case because when my great-great grandfather Edwin Oakley married his second cousin Jane Oakley in 1858, he exposed me to a 'double Oakley lineage' for two generations until the line converged again with Edwin's and Jane's common great-grandparents.
Information about the very early Oakleys became available to me through a subscription to Burke's Peerage (www.burkes-peerage.net. What I discovered about my earliest Oakley ancestors can be summed up briefly in the following blog entries.