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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Wheatley family come from? What is the English Wheatley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wheatley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wheatley family history?

Wheatley is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wheatley family lived in Somerset, at the village of Whatley.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Whatley, Whatly, Whately, Wheatley, Whetly, Whettell and many more.

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. [1] Literally, Wheately means "clearing where wheat is grown," from the Old English "hwaete" + "leah." [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wheatley 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 Wheatley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wheatley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Wheatley name or one of its variants:

Wheatley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Christopher Wheatley, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • John Wheatley, who landed in Maryland in 1641
  • William Wheatley, who arrived in Maryland in 1643
  • David Wheatley, who landed in Virginia in 1645
  • Eliza Wheatley, who arrived in Virginia in 1649

Wheatley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Solomon Wheatley, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Henry Wheatley, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716-1717
  • Phillis Wheatley, who landed in New England in 1761

Wheatley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Wheatley, aged 19, landed in Massachusetts in 1813

Wheatley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Wheatley settled in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, in 1775
  • Thomas Wheatley, aged 53, landed in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1775

Wheatley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Wheatley, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • Mary Wheatley arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • John Wheatley, English convict from Derby, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Sarah Wheatley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849
  • Sarah Wheatley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1849

Wheatley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary F. Wheatley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • George Wheatley, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Henry Wheatley, aged 24, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hurunui" in 1877


  • Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), American poet, considered the first important black writer in the United States. From Africa in 1761, and was a house slave for Boston merchant John Wheatley from who she took the surname
  • Blane Wheatley (b. 1963), American film actor
  • Jane Wheatley (1881-1935), American stage actress
  • Tyrone Anthony Wheatley (b. 1972), American running backs coach of the Buffalo Bills
  • Denis Yates Wheatley (1897-1977), English novelist
  • Alan Wheatley (1907-1991), English radio announcer who turned to stage and screen acting, best remembered for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Francis Wheatley VC, DCM (1821-1865), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Paul Charles Wheatley (b. 1938), English Anglican priest, Archdeacon of Sherborne (1991-2003)
  • John David Patrick Wheatley (1899-1967), English tennis player who played at Wimbledon, in the Olympics and in the Davis Cup
  • Francis Wheatley RA (1747-1801), English portrait and landscape painter



  • Genealogy of the Wheatley Family of Wheatleigh Family by Hannibal Parish Wheatley.
  • Henry Sharp (c. 1737-1800) of Sussex County, New Jersey and Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and His Wife Lydia Morgan, and Some of Their Descendants, Including Chalfant, Depuy, Silverthorn, and Wheatley Families by Elizabeth Cobb Stewart Eastwood.

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Wheatley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wheatley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 December 2014 at 18:36.

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