From 'ROMANTIC BRITAIN The National Heritage of Beauty, History and Legend': Chapter:'The Story of Place Names' by P H Reaney p.190: headed 'Norman Influence (replacement of English names by French)': ".....or as at Virley in the same county [Essex], where the Saxon Salcott had attached to it the name of it's Domesday lord, Robert de Verli and from Salcott Virley came to be called simply Virley....." Presumably the name originates here.
I too am interested in the name as my mother was a VORLEY. The VORLEYs here in Northamptonshire were often recorded as VERLEY, VIRLEY and VURLEY in the 18th century and before and have even been found mis-spelt as VAUGHLEY, VOURLEY, VARLEY, WORLEY, VOLLEY..... I guess the variations came about because of parish clerks, census enumerators etc mis-hearing the name and our illiterate ancestors knowing no better.
Are your VIRLEYs all from the London area?
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