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

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

The name Whaley came to England with the ancestors of the Whaley family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Whaley family lived in Lancashire, in the township of Whalley while Whaley is a small village in Derbyshire.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Whaley are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Whaley include Whalley, Whaley, Walley, Whally and others.

First found in Lancashire where they were descended from Wyamarus Whalley, who accompanied William the Conqueror, from Normandy, and was the Standard Bearer at the Battle of Hastings. The Conqueror gave him the lordship of Whalley in the county of Lancaster. In 1296 an Abbot and about 20 monks arrived in Whalley to create a church that would become Whalley Abbey. One of the census records of the name was Robert de Whalley who died before 1193 and was listed as the rector of Rochdale.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whaley research. Another 163 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1607, 1675, 1660, 1686, 1719, 1718 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Whaley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 333 words(24 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whaley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Whaley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Whaley, or a variant listed above:

Whaley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • George Whaley settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Anthony Whaley, who arrived in Maryland in 1665
  • Peter Whaley, who arrived in Maryland in 1665
  • John Whaley, who landed in Maryland in 1666
  • Shadrach Whaley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682


Whaley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Lewis Whaley, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Elianor Whaley, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
  • Elizabeth Whaley, who landed in Virginia in 1722
  • Joseph Whaley, who arrived in Virginia in 1722

Whaley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edmund Whaley, who landed in Mississippi in 1842
  • William Whaley settled in Boston in 1847
  • Henry Whaley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Whaley, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1892
  • A. Whaley, aged 4, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892

Whaley Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • C. F. Whaley, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Celile G. Whaley, aged 35, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Arthur G. Whaley, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Bessie W Whaley, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Albert G. Whaley, aged 45, who emigrated to the United States, in 1911


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  • Frank Whaley (b. 1963), American film and television actor
  • Richard Smith Whaley (1874-1951), American Representative from South Carolina, and chief justice of the United States Court of Claims
  • Robert H. Whaley (b. 1943), United States federal judge
  • Robert Whaley (b. 1982), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Paul Whaley, American drummer best known as the drummer for rock band Blue Cheer
  • Michael Whaley, American film and television actor
  • William "Bill" Carl Whaley (1899-1943), American Major League Baseball player
  • Ruth Whitehead Whaley, the first African-American woman to be called to the bar in New York in 1925
  • Simon Paul Whaley (b. 1985), English professional footballer


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  • Heritage, the History and Genealogy of the Donaldson and Whaley Families of Bath County, Kentucky, and Their Descendants by O. Clyde Donaldson.
  • Consignments to El Dorado by Thomas Whaley.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Mirabile in profundis
Motto Translation: Wonderful in the Depths.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Whaley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whaley 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 12 July 2014 at 22:13.

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