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Surname Wendley - Meaning and Origin

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Wendley: What does the surname Wendley mean?

The surname Wendley is derived from the Middle English personal name "Wendel," meaning "from whence" or "from wander." The earliest record of this surname dates back to 1319 in County Kent, England, where one Wyndel Audulph was mentioned in the Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester. The Wendley surname is thought to have originated from a variety of sources including people from the village of Wendling in Norfolk, England, as well as individuals who moved from Wendling, Northamptonshire to Kent, England. In addition, Wendley may be a variant of Wyndham, a name derived from windan (to wind) and ham (home), implying a homestead near a winding pathway.

The Wendley name has spread to various countries throughout Europe and beyond, including Canada, Australia and the United States. Families bearing this surname have often been prominent in their communities, holding positions of authority or power. In more recent times, the Wendley surname is associated with figures such as British actor and songwriter Laurence Wendley, American children's author and illustrator Wendy Wendley, and British choreographer and librettist Nigel Wendler.

Regardless of its origin, today the Wendley surname is generally a symbol of strength, intelligence and creativity. It is also a testament to the continued success of a family that has persevered through times of change and uncertainty.

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Wendley: Where does the name Wendley come from?

The last name Wendley is most commonly found in the United States and Canada today. In the United States, the most common incidence of the last name Wendley occurs in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas. According to data collected in the most recent U.S. census, Wendley is the 1,527th most common last name in the United States.

In Canada, the Wendley surname is most common in the provinces of Ontario, followed by Alberta, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Data collected in the most recent Canadian census report shows that Wendley is the 1,182nd most common last name in the nation.

Outside of the United States and Canada, the Wendley surname is less commonly found. Data from genealogical research shows that Wendley is primarily an American and Canadian surname, with very few documented occurrences elsewhere in the world.

Variations of the surname Wendley

The surname Wendley is of English origin and dates back to the medieval period when people living in the area of Lincolnshire used it as a reference to someone named Wendel or Wendla. Variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin include:

Wendall – This variant is the most common spelling of Wendley, possibly due to the Norman influence in the region.

Wandle – This variant is thought to be derived from Wendel and is most commonly seen in Scotland.

Wendel – This is the original Germanic spelling of Wendley and is still used today.

Windle – This variant is derived from the Medieval English form of Wendla and is usually found in Yorkshire.

Wendal – This variant is thought to originate from the German Wendel and is most commonly seen in the US.

Wendelin – This variant is likely to be derived from the French Wendel and can be seen in Canada.

Other surnames derived from Wendley include:

Wendling – This is an Anglicized version of the German Wendelin and is often seen in the US.

Wendell – This variant is most commonly seen in Ireland.

Wenden – This variant is most commonly seen in Scandinavia.

Wendla – This is the feminine form of the name and is seen in various European countries.

Wentz – This variant is thought to be derived from the Medieval German Wendel and is typically seen in Switzerland.

Wendley is a popular name and still used widely across the English-speaking world, with variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin offering further choice when it comes to naming your family.

Famous people with the name Wendley

  • Roberta Winley, singer and songwriter with early successes in Motown Records
  • Ernie Wendley, professional football player who played for the San Diego Chargers in the 1970s
  • Fred Wendley, an American film and television actor, known for roles in films such as Easy Rider and in TV series including Bonanza
  • Paul Wendley, British mixed media artist known for his paintings of landscape and portraits
  • Julian Wendley, an English record producer of independent electronic music
  • Alan Wendley, a basketball coach and former college basketball player
  • Maria Wendley, an American blogger and author of mostly parenting and lifestyle topics
  • Doug Wendley, a Canadian professional baseball pitcher
  • George Wendley, a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the Navy Cross

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