The name Wortlay is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when the family lived in Wortley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire
. The place-name was recorded as Wirteleie in the Domesday Book
. It is composed of the Old English elements wyrt,
which means vegetable, and leah,
which means forest clearing. The place-name meant "forest clearing where vegetables are grown." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
names were originally preceded by a preposition, such as de, at, atte, by, in.
After the Norman Conquest
, the usual preposition was de,
which was used in both English and French place-names. In French names beginning with a vowel, the de
was often merged with the name. For example, de Ash
would become D'ash
and later, Dash.
By the end of the 14th century, prepositions were frequently assimilated or dropped from the surname.
Early Origins of the Wortlay family
The surname Wortlay was first found in South Yorkshire
at Wortley, home to Wortley Manor, a stately home which was rebuilt by Sir Richard Wortley in 1586. Today it is home to a group of local
trade union activists that purchased the estate in 1951. Wedding ceremonies and day visitors are welcome. "This place, which had been for many generations the property and residence of the Wortley family, was, on the demise of Sir Francis Wortley, Bart., the last male heir, conveyed, by marriage with his daughter and heiress, to the Hon. Sidney Montagu." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Wortlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wortlay research.Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1577, 1579, 1583, 1592, 1652 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Wortlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wortlay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Wortlay are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Wortlay include: Wortley, Wortly and others.
Early Notables of the Wortlay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Francis Wortley of Wortley, High Sheriff
1577, Custos Rotulorum of the West Riding of Yorkshire
, 1579-1583; Sir Richard Wortley, of Wortley Hall, Yorkshire; and... Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wortlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wortlay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Wortlay or a variant listed above: W. Wortley settled in San Francisco in 1850.
The Wortlay 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: Avito viret honore
Motto Translation: He flourishes through the honour of his ancestors.