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

Where did the English Whitley family come from? What is the English Whitley family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Whitley family history?

Whitley is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Whitley family lived in Devon, in the township of Whitleigh. Today Whiteley Bank, also spelled "Whitely Bank", is a small hamlet on the Isle of Wight, England and Whiteley is a community in the county of Hampshire founded in the 1980s.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Whitley have been found, including Whitley, Whiteley, Whitleigh, Whytleigh, Whyteleigh, Wytley, Whitlie and many more.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from 1066, and Robert d'Aumale held the village of Whitleigh from Bishop Odo. The village is now a part of the city of Plymouth, and conjectural descent from Robert is most likely.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitley research. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1340, 1638, 1618, 1697, 1660, 1681, 1681, 1685, 1689 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Whitley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Whitley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Whitley were among those contributors:

Whitley Settlers in the 17th Century

  • Mitchell Whitley, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Michell Whitley, aged 23, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Randall Whitley, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Richard Whitley, who arrived in Virginia in 1646
  • Richard Whitley, who settled in Virginia in 1646

Whitley Settlers in the 18th Century

  • Farmer Whitley, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Mary Whitley, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Solomon Whitley, who landed in Mississippi in 1798

Whitley Settlers in the 19th Century

  • Michael Whitley, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1806
  • Thomas Whitley, aged 46, arrived in New York in 1812
  • George Joseph Whitley landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Whitley, aged 30, a shipwright, arrived in Wellington aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Mary Whitley, aged 29, arrived in Wellington aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840


  • Sir John Whitley (1905-1997), English RAF Air Marshall
  • Oliver Whitley (1912-2005), English BBC Broadcasting Director
  • Edward Whitley (1825-1892), English solicitor and Conservative Member of Parliament (1880 to 1892)
  • John Henry Whitley (1866-1935), English politician, initiator of the Whitley Council
  • Charles Orville Whitley (1927-2002), American politician, U.S. Congressman from North Carolina (1977-86)
  • Henry Whitley, Minister of the High Church of Edinburgh, St Giles Cathedral
  • Chip Whitley, real name of American television celebrity Conan O'Brien
  • Christopher Becker "Chris" Whitley (1960-2005), American singer, songwriter and guitarist
  • E. J. Whitley (b. 1982), American NFL football player
  • Edward Whitley (b. 1994), British industrialist, environmentalist and philanthropist, founder of the Whitley Awards



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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Whitley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whitley 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 19 September 2014 at 07:54.

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