Several Kerley family trees and family histories include information about a William Kersley of Barnstable and Plymouth. The name Kersley or Carsley has long been known as one of the alternative spellings of Kerley or Carley. However, like many other such alternatives, we always must take into consideration that any such name may exist independently. For those of us interested in the Kerleys of Sudbury, Massachusetts, certain facts about William Kersley catch our attention because they occur at roughly the same time.A William Kerley was at Hingham in 1637. A William Kerley appeared at Sudbury in a 1640 land transaction. (Sudbury Town Record #155, http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/) Two William Kerleys were at Sudbury by 1643, one appearing in the records as “the elder” and one as “the younger”. (Sudbury Town Record #180, http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/) A ‘William Kerly’ was granted land at Pedock’s Island, Nantasket (later Hull) in 1642. There is also a court record of a William Carsley or Kersley at Plymouth in 1641. On 5 Sep 1641 a William Carsley of Barnstable was “excommunicated & cast out of the church att Bernestable for carnall carriages”. (Plymouth Colony, Its History & People, 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton, 1986.) He was mentioned in Governor Bradford’s papers (7 Dec 1641) – “The said William Kersley shall personally appeare at the next General Court of our said soueraigne lord the King, to be holden for this gouernment, to answere to all such matters as shalbe (on his said master's behalf) objected against him for vncleane carriages towards men that he hath lyen withall, and abide the further order of the Court, and not depart the same without lycence.” (Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer.) Could this William Kersley of Barnstable be the younger William Kerley who was in Sudbury by 1643? No. William Kersley and William Kerley were distinct individuals who left separate trails. William Carsley was admitted as a freeman in Barnstable on 2 Nov 1637 (before William Kerley sailed on the ‘Confidence’) and was a constable in 1639. He married in Sandwich in 1643. He was on a list of those able to bear arms in 1643. He had children born in Barnstable throughout the 1640s. His widow administered his estate 26 Jan 1693/4 in York, Maine. (New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation by William Richard Cutter, 1914.) According to Clarence Almon Torrey, William Carsley married the sister of Marmaduke Matthews of Yarmouth about 28 Nov 1639 in Barnstable. (New England Marriages Prior to 1700)After the marriage the history of this Carsley or Carslile family can be followed in York, Maine. William Kerley of Ashmore in Dorset, England, was aboard the ship ‘Confidence’ in 1638. The bulk of this ship’s passengers, including William Kerley, eventually settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He first appears in Sudbury on 1 Apr 1643, being granted “eleven acres of upland”. (Sudbury Town Record #180, http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/http://sudbury.ma.us/archives/) The younger William Kerley continued to appear in the Sudbury Town Records throughout the 1640s and into the 1650s. He was also married in Sudbury in 1646. William Kersley (or Carsley) left a trail in the records of early New England, enabling us to determine that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the Kerleys of Sudbury. Thus he can be eliminated from our inquiries.