Wistlee is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest
brought to England
in 1066. The Wistlee family lived in Cambridgeshire
, at Westley
or at Westley Waterless
a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.
Early Origins of the Wistlee family
The surname Wistlee was first found in Cambridgeshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the manor of Westley Waterless. The place name dates back to the pre-Conquest times when it was first listed as Westle in 1045. By The Domesday Book
of 1086, it was known as Weslai. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Conjecturally the family are descended from Hardwin, a Norman noble of Scales, who held the village of Westley from the Countess Judith at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book
. William de Westle was Archdeacon of Durham
(1362-1369.) However, Westleigh in Lancashire
may be the origin of the family. "A family of the local
name is mentioned [here] in the reign of Richard I." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Wistlee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wistlee research.Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1636, 1678, 1662, 1735, 1669, 1742, 1596 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Wistlee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wistlee Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.
Early Notables of the Wistlee family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Westley (Wesley) (1636-1678), an English nonconformist minister; his son Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), English minister and poet, father of John and Charles Wesley; and... Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wistlee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wistlee family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wistlee or a variant listed above: Solomon Westle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1752; William Westley settled in Connecticut in 1640; William Westley settled in Maryland in 1774.