Show ContentsAtchley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 [1]; the village was known as "Eldredelei" in the Domesday Book and was held by Nigel the Doctor. [2]

One source notes a Norman connection to the family: "The name was derived from Doussainville, between Paris and Orleans. This family of De Dunstanville continued barons of Adderley in 1255. Henry de Adderley, a younger son, occurs in Staffordshire, 13th century [3], and 1310 Robert de Adderle is mentioned [4]. The usage of those ages restricted the name of the barony to the family of its lords." [5]

Early Origins of the Atchley family

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." [6]

Early History of the Atchley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atchley research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 163 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Atchley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Atchley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Atchley family (pre 1700)

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

Atchley Ranking

In the United States, the name Atchley is the 5,289th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [7]

Migration of the Atchley family

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.

Contemporary Notables of the name Atchley (post 1700) +

  • Curtis Bentley "Ben" Atchley Jr. (1930-2018), American politician, Member of the Tennessee Senate (1977-2005), Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives (1972-1976)
  • Kenneth Atchley (b. 1954), American composer, noise, drone, and video artist
  • Justin Scott Atchley (b. 1973), former American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds during the 2001 season
  • Hooper Atchley (1887-1943), American film actor who appeared in 214 films between 1929 and 1944, perhaps best known for his role in the Our Gang film Birthday Blues (1932)
  • Otto Atchley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1944 [8]
  • John Atchley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 2008 [8]
  • Forest S. Atchley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 1956 [8]
  • Edward Godfrey Cuthbert Frederick Atchley (1869-1943), English surgeon and Anglican liturgical scholar, Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. Palgrave, Sir Francis F.R.S., F.S.A. History of the Anglo-Saxons. London: William Tegg, 1871, Print.
  5. 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)
  6. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook