Wyles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Wyles emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Wyles is an occupational name for a person employed in trapping fish. The surname Wyles is derived from the late Old English word wil, which means trick and was used to refer to mechanical devices such as windmills or traps. This derivation of the name Wyles is supported by the existence of the Old English word wyle, which refers to a wicker trap for catching fish, particularly eels. Historians also suggest that the surname may have also been a nickname applied to a cunning man or someone "of many wiles."

Early Origins of the Wyles family

The surname Wyles was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from early times.

Early History of the Wyles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wyles research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1573, 1693, 1773, 1773, 1685 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Wyles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wyles Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Wiles, Willes, Wyles and others.

Early Notables of the Wyles family (pre 1700)

Prominent in the family at this time was Richard Willes or Willey ( fl. 1558-1573), English poetical writer, a native of Pulham in Dorset. [1] Edward Willes (1693-1773), was an English Anglican Bishop of St David's and later Bishop of Bath and Wells. He died in London in 1773, and is buried in...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wyles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wyles migration to the United States +

Wyless were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Wyles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Card Philip Wyles, aged 28, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741 [2]
Wyles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Charles Wyles, aged 31, who arrived in New York, NY in 1872 [2]
  • Bryan Wyles, who landed in Virginia in 1887 [2]
  • John Wyles, who landed in Virginia in 1887 [2]

New Zealand Wyles migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wyles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Wyles, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [3]
  • Mrs. Margaret Wyles, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [3]
  • Mr. R. Wyles, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "May Queen" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th December 1875 [3]
  • Mr. H. Wyles, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "May Queen" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th December 1875 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wyles (post 1700) +

  • Chris Wyles (b. 1983), American-born, British rugby union player, captain of the USA national sevens team
  • Robert Wyles, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Mangonui, 1884-98 [4]
  • Charl C. L. B. Wyles, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Frankfort, 1926-32 [4]
  • Harold "Harry" Wyles (1922-1982), English footballer who played from 1945 to 1954
  • Lilian Mary Elizabeth Wyles (1885-1975), British police detective chief inspector


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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