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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Wansley family come from? What is the English Wansley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wansley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wansley family history?

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Wensley, Wendsley, Wendesley, Wensly, Wenslee, Wenslow and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor in the North Riding. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. Many of these nobles were from Brittany, under the leadership of Count Alan and his brother, and were Barons who had joined the Duke of Normandy in the crossing to Hastings. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between the Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Wensley, Count Alan of Brittany, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wansley research. Another 213 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1204, 1339 and 1509 are included under the topic Early Wansley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Wansley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wansley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Wansley, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813

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  • Tim Wansley (b. 1978), American former NFL cornerback who played from 2002 to 2003 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Super Bowl champion (XXVII)


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Wansley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wansley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 March 2014 at 08:21.

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