Whalley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Whalley is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Whalley family lived in Lancashire, in the township of Whalley while Whaley is a small village in Derbyshire.

Early Origins of the Whalley family

The surname Whalley was first found in Lancashire where they were descended from Wyamarus Whalley, who accompanied William the Conqueror, from Normandy, and was the Standard Bearer at the Battle of Hastings. The Conqueror gave him the lordship of Whalley in the county of Lancaster. In 1296 an Abbot and about 20 monks arrived in Whalley to create a church that would become Whalley Abbey. One of the census records of the name was Robert de Whalley who died before 1193 and was listed as the rector of Rochdale.

The church of St. Michael in Aughton, Lancashire would be an important ecclesiastical stronghold for the family. For it was there that a long tradition of rectors in the family was established. The first was Henry le Waleys who was rector in 1292, followed by Thomas le Waleys in 1303, Gilbert le Waleys in 1317, John le Waleys in 1318 and Henry (son of Richard) le Waleys in 1337. [1]

The first of the tenants of Litherland, Augton "was Richard le Waleys, who also held a third of the manor of Aughton. In 1212 it was found that he was holding a ploughland in Litherland for 10s. He died in 1221, and his son and heir Richard agreed to pay 40s. -four times the annual rent-as his relief, and was placed in possession. After the death of Richard, a Robert le Waleys appears to have been the principal member of the family; (fn. 10) possibly he was a brother and held some part of the manor, acting as guardian to John le Waleys of Litherland, the son and heir of Richard, who lived on till the beginning of the next century, and was after his death said to have been a 'centenarian.' " [1]

Early History of the Whalley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whalley research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1499, 1583, 1499, 1607, 1675, 1660, 1686, 1719, 1718 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Whalley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whalley Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Whalley, Whaley, Walley, Whally and others.

Early Notables of the Whalley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Whalley (1499?-1583), an English politician, born about 1499, the only son and heir of Thomas Whalley of Kirkton, Nottinghamshire. "He was no doubt related to the Whalley of Screveton who was physician to Henry VII, and some of whose medical receipts are extant in the Bodleian. He is also said to have been related to Protector Somerset. " [2] General Edward Whalley (c. 1607-c. 1675), was an English military leader during the English Civil War, one of the regicides who signed the death warrant of King Charles I of England. At the Restoration...
Another 134 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whalley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Whalley family to Ireland

Some of the Whalley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Whalley migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Whalley or a variant listed above:

Whalley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Whalley, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [3]
  • Edward Whalley, who landed in New England in 1660 [3]
  • George Whalley, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [3]
  • General Edward Whalley who settled in Massachusetts Bay, and died there in 1679
  • Oliver Whalley, who settled in Virginia in 1698
Whalley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Whalley, aged 30, who arrived in St Louis, Missouri in 1845 [3]
  • Alfred Whalley, aged 26, who landed in America from Manchester, in 1895
Whalley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alice Whalley, aged 40, who immigrated to America from Bolton, England, in 1907
  • Alfred Whalley, aged 48, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1908
  • Albert Whalley, aged 45, who immigrated to the United States from Tramore, Ireland, in 1909
  • Anna Whalley, aged 44, who landed in America from Darwen, England, in 1913
  • Amelia Whalley, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States from Barxton, England, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Whalley migration to Australia +

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

Whalley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Whalley, British Convict who was convicted in Bolton, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. Henry Whalley, British Convict who was convicted in Preston, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Richard Whalley, British Convict who was convicted in Preston, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Joseph Whalley, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily" [6]
  • James Whalley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Whalley 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:

Whalley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. W. H. Whalley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Velore" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th August 1861 [7]
  • Miss Sarah Whalley, (b. 1844), aged 18, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [8]
  • Miss Mary Whalley, (b. 1861), aged 18, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Stad Haarlem" arriving in Lyttleton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1879 [7]
  • G. Whalley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Empire" in 1880
  • Charlotte Whalley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Empire" in 1880
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Whalley (post 1700) +

  • J. Irving Whalley (1902-1980), Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Purr Whalley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Hampshire, 2004 [9]
  • John Irving Whalley (1902-1980), American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1951-55; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 36th District, 1955-60 [9]
  • Shaun James Whalley (b. 1987), English footballer
  • Nigel Whalley (b. 1941), English bass player of The Quarrymen
  • Arthur Whalley (1886-1952), English football player
  • Edward Whalley (1607-1675), English military leader during the English Civil War, and was one of the regicides who signed the death warrant of King Charles I of England
  • Hampden Whalley (b. 1851), British politician and soldier
  • George Hammond Whalley (1813-1878), British lawyer and politician
  • Ian Whalley, Lecturer in the music department at the University of Waikato in New Zealand
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Leslie Whalley, English Third Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [10]


The Whalley Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Mirabile in profundis
Motto Translation: Wonderful in the Depths.


  1. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1840
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asiatic
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Emily.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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