Show ContentsHunley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Hunley family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hunley family lived in Handley, Hampshire. The name was local in nature, and was originally derived from the Old English words heah, which meant high, and leah, which meant wood. Another derivation indicates that the name is a corruption of the Norman place-name Andeli which was brought over after the Conquest in 1066. [1] And yet another source claims the name was derived from Hanley, parishes in Staffordshire, Worcestershire, and Lincolnshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Hunley family

The surname Hunley was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in various counties and shires: Tristram de Hanle in Suffolk; William de Hanleye Salop (Shropshire); and Warin de Hannclaye in Lincolnshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Robertus de Hannclay; Peter de Hanlay; and Willelmus de Hanlay. [2]

Early History of the Hunley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hunley research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1605, 1611 and 1619 are included under the topic Early Hunley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hunley Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Hunley include Handley, Hanley, Handeley, Hanly, Handlin and many more.

Early Notables of the Hunley family (pre 1700)

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

Hunley Ranking

In the United States, the name Hunley is the 7,480th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Hunley family to Ireland

Some of the Hunley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hunley migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Hunleys to arrive on North American shores:

Hunley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dennis Hunley, who landed in Arkansas in 1846 [4]
Hunley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary Hunley, aged 51, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Richard Hunley, aged 42, who landed in America from Schull, Ireland, in 1908
  • Alfred S. Hunley, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Lucy Hunley, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Julia Hunley, aged 24, who landed in America from Tullig, Ireland, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Hunley (post 1700) +

  • Randall Hunley, American gospel musician
  • Ricky Hunley (b. 1961), American football player
  • Leann Hunley (b. 1955), American actor
  • Con Hunley (b. 1945), American country music singer
  • Horace Lawson Hunley (1823-1863), American marine engineer, eponym of the CSS H. L. Hunley, an American Civil war submarine
  • Wilma Helen Hunley (b. 1920), former Canadian politician and the first woman to become lieutenant-governor of Alberta. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992
  • Helen Hunley (b. 1920), Canadian politician

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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) on Facebook