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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Heatley is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Heatley family lived in Heathley, Staffordshire.


The surname Heatley was first found in Staffordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Heighley (pronounced Heathley or Heatly). At the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066, this village was the King's land, but reconstructing the evidence, there remains the ruins of a 13th century castle at Heighley which was probably reduced by an angry King. We next see Sir Robert of Keatlie far to the north in the lands of Mellerston just over the border in Scotland. In 1296 his successor, Sir Alexander of Hateley, made his peace with King Edward 1st of England in his brief conquest of Scotland and declared his oath of allegiance and loyalty to him. Sir Alexander's seal is a boar's head which is consistent with the Coat of Arms for Heathley.

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Heatley 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 Heatley include Heathley, Heighley, Heatley, Heathly and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heatley research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heatley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Heatley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Heatley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 Heatley, or a variant listed above:

Heatley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Heatley, aged 32, landed in Kansas in 1837

Heatley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Heatley, aged 21, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Mallard"

Heatley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Heatley, aged 20, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874

  • David Heatley (b. 1974), American cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer and musician
  • Arthur Edward Heatley (1865-1941), English cricketer
  • Eddie Heatley, New Zealand rugby league player at the 1970 World Cup
  • William Clarence "Bill" Heatley (1920-1971), Australian politician, Senator for Queensland (1966-1968)
  • Benjamin Basil Heatley (b. 1933), British silver medalist marathon runner at the 1964 Summer Olympics
  • Spike Heatley (b. 1933), British jazz bassist
  • Jason Heatley (b. 1972), Australian rules footballer
  • Norman George Heatley (1911-2004), English member of the team of Oxford scientists who developed penicillin, his work went unrecognized for many years, yet in 1990 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from Oxford University, the first given to a non-medic
  • Phil Reeve Heatley (b. 1967), New Zealand politician, Minister of Fisheries (2008-2010), Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture (2010-2011) and Minister of Housing (2008-2010)
  • Dany James Heatley (b. 1981), German-born, Canadian professional NHL hockey player
  • ...

Heatley Historic Events

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. William Heatley, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

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    Other References

    1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    11. ...

    The Heatley Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Heatley 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 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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