Wheatley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. Whateley Hall was a stately home in the Warwickshire countryside near Castle Bromwich. Built in the 18th century, the hall and the estate was demolished in the 1930s and the land was sold to build houses.

Early Origins of the Wheatley family

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

Some believe that Anne Whateley was William Shakespeare's first betrothed; whether she even existed is much in debate. A William Shakspeare and Anne Whateley do appear on the same line in a note in the Episcopal register at Worcester, but some claim that there were numerous William Shakespeares in that area at that time and was obviously another person. Others believe that entry was a clerical error. The debate continues.

Early History of the Wheatley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wheatley research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1582, 1768, 1583, 1639, 1686, 1742, 1747, 1801, 1753 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Wheatley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wheatley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Wheatley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Whately (1583-1639), an English Puritan cleric and author, son of Thomas Whately, twice mayor of Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was born at Banbury, the son of John Wheatly, a tradesman of...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wheatley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wheatley migration to the United States +

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, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • John Wheatley, who landed in Maryland in 1641 [3]
  • William Wheatley, who arrived in Maryland in 1643 [3]
  • David Wheatley, who landed in Virginia in 1645 [3]
  • Eliza Wheatley, who arrived in Virginia in 1649 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wheatley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Solomon Wheatley, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [3]
  • Henry Wheatley, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716-1717 [3]
  • Phillis Wheatley, who landed in New England in 1761 [3]
Wheatley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Wheatley, aged 19, who landed in Massachusetts in 1813 [3]

Canada Wheatley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wheatley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Wheatley, who settled in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, in 1775
  • Thomas Wheatley, aged 53, who landed in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1775

Australia Wheatley migration to Australia +

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

Wheatley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wheatley, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [4]
  • Mary Wheatley, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [4]
  • John Wheatley, English convict from Derby, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Sarah Wheatley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [6]
  • Sarah Wheatley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1849 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wheatley 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:

Wheatley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary F. Wheatley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • George Wheatley, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Henry Wheatley, aged 24, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hurunui" in 1877

Contemporary Notables of the name Wheatley (post 1700) +

  • Mark A. Wheatley, American politician, Member of the Utah House of Representatives (2004-)
  • Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), American poet, born in Africa, sold into slavery at the age of seven in 1761 and transported to America, house slave for Boston merchant John Wheatley from who she took the surname, considered the first important black writer in the United States, eponym of Wheatley, a Venusian crater
  • Blane Wheatley (b. 1963), American film actor, known for Monarch of the Moon (2005), The Unnamable (1988) and Bluegrass (1988)
  • Tyrone Anthony Wheatley (b. 1972), American running backs coach of the Buffalo Bills
  • Jane Wheatley (1881-1935), American stage actress
  • Francis Wheatley VC, DCM (1821-1865), English recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War
  • Francis Wheatley RA (1747-1801), English portrait and landscape painter
  • John David Patrick Wheatley (1899-1967), English tennis player who played at Wimbledon, in the Olympics and in the Davis Cup
  • Paul Charles Wheatley (b. 1938), English Anglican priest, Archdeacon of Sherborne (1991-2003)
  • Alan Wheatley (1907-1991), English radio announcer who turned to stage and screen acting, best remembered for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Wheatley +

  • 2561 "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.

  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)
  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HMS BUFFALO 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Buffalo.htm
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The TRAFALGAR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Trafalgar.htm


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