While History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name While. It was a name for someone who lived in Dumfries where today more often than not, the name is typically spelt either Wylie or Wyllie. [1]

Early Origins of the While family

The surname While was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), where the first on record was Donald Wyly, tenant of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, 1376. Later, John Wili held a land in Montrose, 1431, and Robert Wylye was vicar of Kilcoldrum, 1434. William Wyly, was a witness in Prestwick, Ayrshire, 1446, Robert Wyly, was a charter witness in Glasgow, 1454, and Richard Wyly, was vicar of Dundee in 1458. [1]

Early History of the While family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our While research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1529, 1530, 1550, 1563, 1575, 1653, 1659, 1680, 1590, 1645, 1642, 1643 and are included under the topic Early While History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

While Spelling Variations

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. While has appeared as Wiley, Wylie, Whyley, Wyley, Wilie, Wyllie and others.

Early Notables of the While family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early While Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the While family to Ireland

Some of the While family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia While migration to Australia +

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

While Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William While, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846 [2]
  • Julius While, aged 22, a tinsman, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred" [3]


The While 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: Fides
Motto Translation: Faith.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ABBERTON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Abberton.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ALFRED 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Alfred.htm


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