Show ContentsWigley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Wigley surname comes from the Old English words "wicga," meaning a "bug," and " leah," meaning a clearing in the woods. There are several places in England named from these words, such as Wigley in Derbyshire, Wigley, Shropshire, Wigley Cross in Dorset, and Wigley in Hampshire; the surname may have been a habitational name, taken on from one of these place names.

Early Origins of the Wigley family

The surname Wigley was first found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat at Brampton during the reign of king Edward III (ruled 1327-1377). The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1328 when they held a family seat in Brampton in that shire.

Early History of the Wigley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wigley research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1683, 1776 and 1795 are included under the topic Early Wigley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wigley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wigley, Whigley, Wiggeley, Wygley, Wyggeley, Wiggerley and many more.

Early Notables of the Wigley family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • the Wigley family of Derbyshire...
  • Edmund Wigley married into the manor of Bayton, county Worcester in 1795...

Wigley Ranking

In the United States, the name Wigley is the 9,378th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

United States Wigley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wigley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Wigley, who landed in New England in 1666 2
  • John Wigley, who settled in Maryland in 1670
  • Thomas Wigley, who landed in Maryland in 1673 2
Wigley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Wigley, a bonded passenger who settled in America in 1748
  • William Wigley, who arrived in Virginia in 1774
Wigley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elias Wigley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1820
  • John Wigley, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1839 2
  • Alfred John Wigley, who arrived in America in 1886 2

Australia Wigley migration to Australia +

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

Wigley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Wigley, (b. 1801), aged 19, Scottish Convict born in Glasgow who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he was executed in 1826 3
  • Mr. William Wigley who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 4
  • Mr. John Wigley, British Convict who was convicted in Chester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 5
  • Mr. Abel Wigley, (b. 1819), aged 23, English farm labourer who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 6
  • William R Wigley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Bartlett" in 1847 7
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Wigley migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 8
Wigley Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Wigley, a bonded passenger who arrived in Jamaica in 1716

Contemporary Notables of the name Wigley (post 1700) +

  • Richard Wigley, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 10th District, 1885-86 9
  • George J. Wigley (d. 1866), English journalist
  • David Harry Wigley (b. 1981), English former first-class cricketer
  • Steve Wigley (b. 1961), English football coach and former player
  • Dafydd Wigley (b. 1943), Welsh politician
  • Dame Susan Louise Wigley D.C.V.O., C.V.O.,, British Lady in Waiting to The Duchess of Gloucester, was appointed Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 29th December 2018 10
  • James Vandeleur Wigley (1918-1999), Australian painter
  • Sir Henry Rodolph "Harry" Wigley (1913-1980), New Zealand pilot, entrepreneur and pioneer of the New Zealand tourism industry
  • Mark Antony Wigley, New Zealand born architect and author
  • Dafydd Wigley (b. 1943), Baron Wigley, Welsh politician, leader of the Plaid Cymru party from 1991 to 2000

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN BARTLETT 1847. Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 18) . Retrieved from
  10. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook