The name Wessely was brought to England
in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Wessely family lived in Cambridgeshire
, at Westley
or at Westley Waterless
a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.
Early Origins of the Wessely family
The surname Wessely was first found in Cambridgeshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the manor of Westley Waterless. The place name dates back to the pre-Conquest times when it was first listed as Westle in 1045. By The Domesday Book
of 1086, it was known as Weslai. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Conjecturally the family are descended from Hardwin, a Norman noble of Scales, who held the village of Westley from the Countess Judith at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book
. William de Westle was Archdeacon of Durham
(1362-1369.) However, Westleigh in Lancashire
may be the origin of the family. "A family of the local
name is mentioned [here] in the reign of Richard I." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Wessely family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wessely research.Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1636, 1678, 1662, 1735, 1669, 1742, 1596 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Wessely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wessely Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Wessely have been found, including Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.
Early Notables of the Wessely family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Westley (Wesley) (1636-1678), an English nonconformist minister; his son Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), English minister and poet, father of John and Charles Wesley; and... Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wessely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wessely family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Wessely were among those contributors: Solomon Westle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1752; William Westley settled in Connecticut in 1640; William Westley settled in Maryland in 1774.
Contemporary Notables of the name Wessely (post 1700)
- Rudolf Wessely (1925-2016), Austrian actor, known for The Neighbour (1993), Das Urteil (1997) and The Harmonists (1997)