Westley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Westley is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Westley family lived in Cambridgeshire, at Westley or at Westley Waterless a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.

Early Origins of the Westley family

The surname Westley 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. [1]

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." [2]

Early History of the Westley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westley research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1636, 1678, 1662, 1735, 1669, 1742, 1596 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Westley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Westley Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Westley family name include Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.

Early Notables of the Westley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Westley or Wesley (1636-1678), an English nonconformist minister; his son Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), English minister and poet, father of John and Charles Wesley...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Westley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Westley Ranking

In the United States, the name Westley is the 13,609th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States Westley migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Westley family to immigrate North America:

Westley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Westley, who settled in Connecticut in 1640
  • Elizabeth Westley, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [4]
Westley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Westley, who settled in Maryland in 1774
Westley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Westley, aged 24, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834 [4]

Australia Westley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Westley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Westley, English convict from Northampton, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Charles Westley, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Westley, English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Westley, (b. 1820), aged 22, English ploughman who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 1st October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1847 [8]
  • Thomas Westley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1847 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Westley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Westley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Westley, aged 20, a milkman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Westley (post 1700) +

  • Helen Westley (1875-1942), born Henrietta Remsen Meserole Manney, an American character actress, active 1892-1942
  • William Westley, English co-founder of Carpenter and Westley, a British optical, mathematical and scientific instrument makers in 1808
  • Roger Bancroft Westley (1947-1982), English cricketer
  • Shane Lee Mark Westley (b. 1965), English former professional footballer and coach, active 1983-1996
  • Stuart Alker Westley (b. 1947), English former cricketer from Preston, Lancashire, active 1976-1969
  • Thomas "Tom" Westley (b. 1989), English cricketer
  • Graham Neil Westley (b. 1968), English former footballer and is currently manager
  • David Westley (b. 1974), Papua New Guinea retired professional rugby league footballer, active 1993-2002
  • William Westley Guth (1871-1929), American Methodist clergyman and college president
  • James Westley Miggins, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Mississippi, 1972 [10]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1829 with 176 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1829
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duchess-of-northumberland
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARINER 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Mariner.htm
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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