Show ContentsHenly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Henly name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having 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 Henly family

The surname Henly 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 Henly family

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

Henly Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Henly has undergone many spelling variations, including Henley, Henlee, Henleigh, Henlie, Henly, Hendleigh, Hendley, Hendlie, Hendlee, Henelly and many more.

Early Notables of the Henly family

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 Henly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Henly family to Ireland

Some of the Henly 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 Henly migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Henly were among those contributors:

Henly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Henly, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Tho Henly, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [7]
  • Lawrence Henly, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 [7]
Henly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ralph Henly, who settled in Virginia in 1720
  • Sigmont Henly, aged 41, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [7]
Henly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Henly, who landed in America in 1812 [7]
  • John Henly, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1818 [7]
  • Ann Henly, aged 18, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [7]
  • Thomas Henly, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]

Australia Henly migration to Australia +

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

Henly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Henly, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • William Henly, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Bridget Henly, aged 18, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

West Indies Henly migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Henly Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Henly, who settled in Barbados in 1678

Contemporary Notables of the name Henly (post 1700) +

  • John C. Henly, American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Idaho Territory, 1868-70 [10]
  • Guy Nicholas Henly (b. 1987), Australian Paralympic athlete; he has won medals at the 2013, and 2015, 2017 and 2019 World Para Athletics Championships
  • Leonard Henly Sims (1807-1886), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri (1845-1847)

Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. William Henly (b. 1870), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died

  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. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook