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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The present generation of the Atchley family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the village of Adderley in Shropshire; the village was known as "Eldredelei" in the Domesday Book and was held by Nigel the Doctor. [1]

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The surname Atchley was first found in Shropshire at Adderley, a village and civil parish that literally means "woodland clearing of a woman called Athryth," from the Old English personal name + "leah." [2]

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Atchley include Adderley, Adderly, Addly, Adley, Aderly, Atherly, Atherley, Hadderley and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atchley research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 163 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Atchley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Atchley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Adderley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1734; Edward Adderly settled in Philadelphia in 1760; Susanna Atherley settled in Virginia in 1768.

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  • Otto Atchley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1944
  • John Atchley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 2008
  • Forest S. Atchley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 1956
  • Ben Atchley (b. 1930), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 2004


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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)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. 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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Atchley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Atchley 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 22 February 2016 at 21:48.

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