Waidlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Waidlay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Waidlay 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 Waidlay family
The surname Waidlay 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 Waidlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waidlay 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 Waidlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Waidlay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Waidlay are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Waidlay include Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.
Early Notables of the Waidlay 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...
Migration of the Waidlay family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Waidlay, 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.