The ancestors of the Westleigh family brought their name to England
in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Cambridgeshire
, at Westley
or at Westley Waterless
a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.
Early Origins of the Westleigh family
The surname Westleigh 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 Westleigh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westleigh 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 Westleigh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Westleigh Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Westleigh were recorded, including Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.
Early Notables of the Westleigh 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 Westleigh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Westleigh family to the New World and Oceana
The unstable environment in England
at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland
, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Westleigh arrived in North America very early: Solomon Westle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1752; William Westley settled in Connecticut in 1640; William Westley settled in Maryland in 1774.