Wattlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Wattlay came to England with the ancestors of the Wattlay family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wattlay 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 Wattlay family
The surname Wattlay 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 Wattlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wattlay 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 Wattlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wattlay Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Wattlay has been recorded under many different variations, including Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.
Early Notables of the Wattlay 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 Wattlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wattlay family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Wattlays were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: 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.
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- ^ 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)