Henley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Henley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Henley family lived in one of the settlements called Henley in Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Suffolk, Surrey, and Warwickshire. The oldest of the parishes is found in Somerset where it was known as Henleighe in 973. The place names literally mean "high wood or clearing" [1] with the exception of the Shropshire parish which means "one frequented by wild birds." [2]

Early Origins of the Henley family

The surname Henley was first found in Somerset where they held a family seat from ancient times as Lords of the Manor of Henley, the main line of the family producing the Barons Henley, the Earls of Northington, the Barons Ongley and many other knightly branches.

John de Heneleghe was registered as holding lands in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

Gilbert de Henlega was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Worcester in 1181; Robert de Henlay in Yorkshire in 1270; and William Heneley in Northumberland in 1392. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Philipp de Heneley, Salop (Shropshire); and John de Heneleye, Warwickshire as holding lands in their respective shires. [5]

Walter de Henley ( fl. 1250), was a writer on agriculture, "is stated to have been a 'Chivaler,' and afterwards to have become a Dominican friar. Henley's original text has clearly been much garbled and interpolated in the extant manuscripts; the early text is said to be best represented in two manuscripts in the Cambridge University Library. They appear to date from the time of Edward I or Edward II." [6]

Early History of the Henley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henley research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1612, 1696, 1653, 1711, 1679, 1692, 1756, 1692, 1708 and 1772 are included under the topic Early Henley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Henley Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Henley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Henley include: Henley, Henlee, Henleigh, Henlie, Henly, Hendleigh, Hendley, Hendlie, Hendlee, Henelly and many more.

Early Notables of the Henley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Ernest Henley, the poet; and Henry Henley (1612-1696), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Somerset in 1653. Anthony Henley (d. 1711), wit and politician, the son of Sir Robert Henley of the Grange, near Arlesford, Hampshire, M.P. for Andover in 1679, who married Barbara, daughter of Sir Edward Hungerford. Sir Robert Henley, Master of the Court of King's Bench, on the pleas side, a place then worth 4,000l. a year, was his grandfather. Out of the profits of this...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Henley family to Ireland

Some of the Henley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Henley migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Henley or a variant listed above:

Henley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Henley, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Christopher Henley, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [7]
  • John Henley, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [7]
  • Henry Henley, who landed in Maryland in 1667 [7]
  • John Henley, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [7]
Henley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edmd Henley, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • Samuel Henley, who settled in the Bay of Bulls in 1708
  • William Henley, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [7]
  • Alice Henley and husband settled in Jamaica in 1722
  • Ann, Dorothy, and Rebecca Henley all, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1725
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Henley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Henley, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [7]
  • George Henley, who arrived in Alabama in 1858 [7]

Canada Henley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Henley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Henley was a fish merchant at Greenspond, Newfoundland in 1776 [8]
  • Mrs. Esther Henley U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 306 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York [9]
  • Mr. Simon Henley U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswickc. 1783 [9]
  • Adjt. James Henley U.E. born in Maryland, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the Maryland Loyalists Regiment [9]
Henley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Henley was a merchant of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1843 [8]

Australia Henley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Henley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Henley, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Thomas Henley, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Henley, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Thomas Henley, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • William Henry Henley, aged 48, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Henley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Henley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Henley, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [15]
  • Mrs. Mary Henley, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [15]
  • Miss Mary Henley, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [15]
  • Mr. Patrick Henley, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Anne Longton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1857 [15]
  • Miss Jane Henley (Henby), (b. 1837), aged 26, British domestic servant, from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Metropolis" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th June 1863 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Henley (post 1700) +

  • Lawrence Joel "Larry" Henley (1937-2014), American singer and songwriter, best known for co-writing the 1989 hit record "Wind Beneath My Wings"
  • Captain Robert Henley (1783-1828), United States Navy officer, eponym of the USS Henley (DD-762)
  • Elizabeth Becker "Beth" Henley (b. 1952), American dramatist and actress awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • Donald Hugh "Don" Henley (b. 1947), Grammy award winning American rock musician who was the drummer and one of the lead singers and songwriters of the band the Eagles
  • Elizabeth L. Henley, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly 17th District, 2000 [16]
  • Debra Henley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 2008 [16]
  • Danny Henley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 2004 [16]
  • Daniel J. Henley Sr., American Democrat politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Marshall County, 1952, 1954 [16]
  • Carl Henley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2004, 2008 [16]
  • Ben C. Henley, American Republican politician, Arkansas Republican State Chair, 1955-58; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 1956, 1960; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Arkansas, 1956 [16]
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Henley +

  • 1561 Hensley Family Records, and Allied Families of Other Spellings, Like Henlee, Hendly, etc.,; Revolutionary Period, War 1812, and Indian Wars, also Indian Land Chains by Annie Walker Burns.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  14. ^ South Australian Register Friday 29 April 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Marshall Bennett 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1853.shtml.
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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