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

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

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Woodley family, who lived in Devon, at Woodleigh.


Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Woodley were recorded, including Woodley, Woodleigh, Woodlief and others.

First found in Devon, where the family held a seat at Woodleigh, after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They were conjecturally descended from Robet de Aumaly, who held the fishery of Woodleigh which included 15 cattle and 100 sheep. It is situated above Kingsbridge estuary. Robert was descended from the Counts of Aumaly, one of the largest land holding barons in Normandy.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodley research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Woodley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Woodley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Woodley arrived in North America very early:

Woodley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ann Woodley, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Thomas Woodley who settled in Barbados in 1663
  • William Woodley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683

Woodley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Andrew Woodley, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Benjamin and William Woodley arrived in New England in 1772

Woodley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Woodley, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • E B Woodley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Woodley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Ada Woodley, aged 31, who landed in America from Brighton, England, in 1907
  • Christian Woodley, aged 2, who landed in America from Bermuda, in 1907
  • Denis Woodley, aged 3, who emigrated to the United States from Brighton, England, in 1907
  • George Wm. Woodley, aged 35, who settled in America from Bristol, England, in 1907
  • Thomas Woodley, aged 9, who emigrated to America from Castledermot, Ireland, in 1907

Woodley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Harold G. Woodley, aged 34, who emigrated to Calgary, Canada, in 1908
  • Ada Woodley, aged 40, who settled in Belleville, Canada, in 1916
  • Ada Woodley, aged 40, who settled in Ontario, Canada, in 1916
  • George Woodley, aged 43, who emigrated to Belleville, Canada, in 1916
  • George Woodley, aged 43, who emigrated to Ontario, Canada, in 1916

Woodley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Woodley, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Sarah Ann Woodley, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Storm Cloud"


  • John Paul Woodley Jr., United States Assistant Secretary of the Army
  • Dan Woodley (b. 1967), retired American professional ice hockey player
  • Tyron Woodley (b. 1982), American former amateur wrestler
  • Shailene Diann Woodley (b. 1991), American Golden Globe nominated actress, known for her roles in The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008) and The Descendants (2011)
  • LaMarr Dewayne Woodley (b. 1984), American football linebacker
  • David Eugene Woodley (1958-2003), American football player
  • Derek George Woodley (1942-2002), English former professional footballer
  • Ian Woodley (b. 1960), English millionaire game show winner and professional poker player
  • Victor Robert Woodley (1910-1978), English football goalkeeper
  • Ian Douglas Woodley (b. 1963), New Zealander sportsman and former field hockey goalkeeper



  • Deep East Texas Folk: The Tillers, Crenshaws, Woodleys, Goldens, and Other Related Families of Panola and Harrison Counties by Terry G. Jordan.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Woodley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woodley 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 28 August 2015 at 14:37.

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