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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The name Ottley belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in the parish of Oteley found in the counties of Shropshire, Suffolk and the West Riding of Yorkshire.


The surname Ottley was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

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 Ottley include Ottley, Otley, Oatley, Oteley, Oatly and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ottley research. Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1434, 1716, 1601, 1649, 1643, 1644, 1646, 1626, 1670, 1661 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Ottley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notables of the family at this time include Sir Francis Ottley (1601-1649), English Royalist knight, military governor of Shrewsbury in 1643 and later High Sheriff of Shropshire (1644-1646)...

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ottley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 Ottley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Ottley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Arthur Ottley (1649-1705) was born in St. Christopher's

Ottley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Susannah Ottley, an English convict, who arrived in Virginia in 1773

Ottley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Ottley, aged 23, landed in New York in 1812
  • William Ottley, aged 60, arrived in New York in 1812

  • Ryan Ottley, American comic book artist, best known for work on Image Comics' Invincible
  • Vincent Lushington "Roi" Ottley (1906-1960), American journalist and writer, among the most famous African American correspondents in the United States
  • Jerold Ottley, American retired music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1974-1999)
  • Robert Lawrence Ottley (1856-1933), English theologian, Principal of Cuddesdon Theological College from 1886, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in 1903
  • David George Ottley (b. 1944), former English cricketer who played from 1985 to 1967
  • William Young Ottley (1771-1836), English collector of and writer on art, amateur artist, and Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Langdale Ottley KCMG, CB, MVO (1858-1932), English Naval officer, Director of Naval Intelligence
  • William Ottley (1797-1820), English barrister at law in England, who died in St. Vincent
  • Douglas Ottley, New Zealand former association football player for the New Zealand National Team (1988-1989)
  • Sir Richard Ottley (1782-1845), British jurist, Chief Justice of Grenada (1814-1820), 5th Chief Justice of Ceylon (1827-1833)
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
    3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    11. ...

    The Ottley Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Ottley 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 13 December 2015 at 08:14.

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