Worthley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Worthley surname was a habitational name, taken on from any of various places named Worth. The place names in turn come from the Old English "worð," meaning "enclosure," or "settlement."

"These names are from Anglo-Saxon worth, worthig, weorthig, wurthig, a field, portion of land, a farm, manor, an estate, also a street, public way (vicus, platea)." [1]

Early Origins of the Worthley family

The surname Worthley was first found in Devon at Washfield, a parish, in the union of Tiverton, hundred of West Budleigh. "The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19. 7. 6., and in the gift of J. Francis Worth, Esq. The church contains an old oak screen, which has been painted white; and a curious monument with brasses to the family of Worth." [2]

"Worth, in Washfield, is one of the three places in Devon which still remain the possession and residence of families of the same name, the Worths having been seated there since the thirteenth century. " [3]

One of the first records of the family is Richard de la Worthe who was listed there 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I.) [4]

"The ancient family of Worth, which derived its name from the village of Worth, owned estates in Titherington from the 14th to the 17th century. The Worths of this county are now best represented in the Crewe district. The name is also established in Lincolnshire. There are villages thus called in Kent and Sussex." [5]

John de Wurde was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1195 and later, Hawaisia de la Wurth was found in the Feet of Fines for Somerset in 1204. Later again, Elyas de la Worlhwas listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243. [6]

Early History of the Worthley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Worthley research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1620, 1600, 1797, 1587, 1659, 1620, 1677, 1742, 1676 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Worthley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Worthley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Worth, Worthe and others.

Early Notables of the Worthley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Ellis Worth (Woorth)(c. 1587-1659), a noted English actor in the Jacobean and Caroline eras, a leading member of two important companies: Queen Anne's Men and Prince Charles's Men; Roger Worthe, mayor of Exeter, on record in 1620 in the Vide Visitation of Devon; and...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Worthley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Worthley Ranking

In the United States, the name Worthley is the 17,914th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Worthley family to Ireland

Some of the Worthley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Worthley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Worthley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Worthley, who arrived in New England in 1705 [8]
Worthley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Worthley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • J Worthley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Worthley (post 1700) +

  • Jean Reese Worthley (1925-2017), American naturalist and host of Maryland Public Broadcasting's children's television series Hodgepodge Lodge


  1. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ 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)


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