Waddley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Waddley is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Waddley family lived in Somerset, at the village of Whatley. Whateley Hall was a stately home in the Warwickshire countryside near Castle Bromwich. Built in the 18th century, the hall and the estate was demolished in the 1930s and the land was sold to build houses.
Early Origins of the Waddley family
The surname Waddley was first found in Somerset in the village and manor of Whatley near Frome, where they are conjecturally believed to be descended from the possessor of those lands, at the taking of the Domesday Survey in 1086, John the Usher, from Glastonbury Abbey. The Wheatley variant can be found throughout England, specifically: Wheatley, Oxfordshire; Wheatley Lane in Lancashire; and North and South Wheatley in Nottinghamshire. The two latter villages are listed in the Domesday Book as Watelei and Wateleie.  Literally, Wheately means "clearing where wheat is grown," from the Old English "hwaete" + "leah." 
Some believe that Anne Whateley was William Shakespeare's first betrothed; whether she even existed is much in debate. A William Shakspeare and Anne Whateley do appear on the same line in a note in the Episcopal register at Worcester, but some claim that there were numerous William Shakespeares in that area at that time and was obviously another person. Others believe that entry was a clerical error. The debate continues.
Early History of the Waddley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waddley research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1582, 1768, 1583, 1639, 1686, 1742, 1747, 1801, 1753 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Waddley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Waddley Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.
Early Notables of the Waddley family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Whately (1583-1639), an English Puritan cleric and author, son of Thomas Whately, twice mayor of Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was born at Banbury, the son of John Wheatly, a tradesman of...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waddley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Waddley family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Waddley or a variant listed above: Richard Whately, who settled in Barbados in 1670; David Whatley settled in Pennsylvania in 1772; J. D. Whatley settled in San Francisco, Cal. in 1850.
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)