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Surname Weatherly - Meaning and Origin

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A Journey of Discovery: How iGENEA DNA Test Unearthed My Heritage and Transformed My Identity

Undergoing the iGENEA DNA test, I learned that my surname 'Weatherly' is much more than a name; it is a window into a rich, complex heritage that stretches across generations and geography.

S. Weatherly

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Weatherly: What does the surname Weatherly mean?

The surname Weatherly is of English origin. Derived from the Old English terms “wether,” meaning sheep, and “leah,” meaning wood, clearing, or meadow, it was typically given to those who lived or worked in a clear area that was used for grazing sheep, thus, it can be translated as "sheep pasture." As an occupational surname, it most likely belonging to sheep farmers. Over the years, it has transformed into various spellings including Wetherleigh, Weatherley, and Wetherly in addition to Weatherly. Sometimes, these last names also applied to places, towns or farms related to such activity. As with most surnames, they were created for identification purposes depending on a person's occupation, location, father's name or distinguishing characteristics.

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Weatherly: Where does the name Weatherly come from?

The last name Weatherly is thought to have originated from England, although similar variations stemming from Olde English have been found in other parts of the British Isles. Today, it is most commonly found in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Since the early 19th century, the Weatherly family has been growing in population, particularly in the US, where it is often found around the southern Midwest, and in particular the states of Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana. Notably, as of the 2018 US census, Ohio was found to be the state with the most Weatherly households.

Outside of the US, the Weatherly name is most commonly found in England. Weatherlys from English backgrounds are spread out all across Britain, but are more frequent in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, located in the South-west of England.

The name Weatherly is also moderately common in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. While there are no research studies linking the Weatherly name to any one location within these countries, its presence is generally acknowledged as being most frequent in Ontario and British Columbia in Canada, and Queensland, Australia.

While not found as frequently as in centuries past, the Weatherly name is still known and recognized in today’s world. The name lives in many places around the globe, with each country offering not only its own unique backstory, but a piece of the Weatherly legacy.

Variations of the surname Weatherly

Weatherly is a many-faceted surname that can have different spellings and variations. Dating back to the 11th century, the origin of the surname is believed to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English personal nameWedorlac. Modern variants of the name Weatherly include Wetherly, Wetherall, Witherly, Wetherill, Wetherille, Wethral, Wutherly, Wutherill and Wattherall.

The surname can be found in many different countries, with varying spellings and associated surnames. In England, it can also be found in the spellings Wetherle, Wetherlay, Wetherley, Wetherlaye and Weatherall. In Scotland, the surname is most often spelled Wetherle and Wetherlie. In Ireland, the Watherly spelling is common. In Germany, the surname is often spelled Wudderlich, Wutherlich, Wetherally and Wetherill.

In the United States, the surname is commonly spelled Weatherly, and is the third most popular surname in the state of Maryland. Other names and spellings found in the US are Watherlee, Weterlee, Wetherill, Wetherlee, Wetherly, Wetherall and Wederly. In Canada, the Wetherill spelling is most commonly found.

The surname Weatherly is still in use today and has been in existance for centuries. The many spellings of the name and its variations have only increased its longevity, as people with the Weatherly surname can continue to trace it back to its origin and be proud of its continuing heritage.

Famous people with the name Weatherly

  • Michael Weatherly: an American actor who appeared in the TV series Dark Angel and then became widely known for playing the character Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, from 2003-2016, on NCIS.
  • Catherine Weatherly: an American musician and composer who plays the violin and piano.
  • Barbara Weatherly: an American actress and musician, most widely known for her role as Ellie May Fields in the short-lived but critically acclaimed television series The Wonder Years.
  • Noah Weatherly: an American actor who has appeared in films such as The Hollars (2016) and Walking with the Enemy (2014).
  • Alex Weatherly: an American actor best known for his portrayal of Teddy Williams in the TV miniseries Generation Kill (2008) and his recurring role as Nathan York in the Syfy series Eureka (2010).
  • Lindsey Weatherly: an American model and actress who has appeared in music videos for artists such as 3 Doors Down and Kelly Clarkson.
  • Sheldon Weatherly: an actor and producer best known for his work on the movie Abruptio (2018).
  • Robert Weatherly: an American entrepreneur and philanthropist who is the founder of noteworthy tech startups such as Student Loan Hero and Boomprox.
  • Andrea Weatherly: an American singer-songwriter and former Christian pop artist.
  • Robert L. Weatherly: an American politician who served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1965-1972.

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