Wistlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Wistlay came to England with the ancestors of the Wistlay family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wistlay family lived in Cambridgeshire, at Westley or at Westley Waterless a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.

Early Origins of the Wistlay family

The surname Wistlay was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Westley Waterless. The place name dates back to the pre-Conquest times when it was first listed as Westle in 1045. By The Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Weslai. [1]

Conjecturally the family are descended from Hardwin, a Norman noble of Scales, who held the village of Westley from the Countess Judith at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book. William de Westle was Archdeacon of Durham (1362-1369.)

However, Westleigh in Lancashire may be the origin of the family. "A family of the local name is mentioned [here] in the reign of Richard I." [2]

Important Dates for the Wistlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wistlay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1636, 1678, 1662, 1735, 1669, 1742, 1596 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Wistlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wistlay Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.

Early Notables of the Wistlay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Westley or Wesley (1636-1678), an English nonconformist minister; his son Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), English minister and poet, father of John and Charles Wesley...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wistlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wistlay family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wistlay or a variant listed above: Solomon Westle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1752; William Westley settled in Connecticut in 1640; William Westley settled in Maryland in 1774.

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Citations

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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