Whatelay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Whatelay family lived in Somerset
, at the village of Whatley.
Early Origins of the Whatelay family
The surname Whatelay 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Literally, Wheately means "clearing where wheat is grown," from the Old English "hwaete" + "leah." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early History of the Whatelay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whatelay research.Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1582, 1768, 1686, 1742, 1747, 1801, 1753 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Whatelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Whatelay 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 Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.
Early Notables of the Whatelay family (pre 1700)
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whatelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Whatelay family to the New World and Oceana
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 Whatelay or a variant listed above: 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.