The history of the Watelay family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Somerset
, at the village of Whatley.
Early Origins of the Watelay family
The surname Watelay 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Literally, Wheately means "clearing where wheat is grown," from the Old English "hwaete" + "leah." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early History of the Watelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watelay research.Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1582, 1768, 1686, 1742, 1747, 1801, 1753 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Watelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Watelay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.
Early Notables of the Watelay family (pre 1700)
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Watelay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Watelay or a variant listed above were: 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.