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Surname Whateley - Meaning and Origin

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Whateley: What does the surname Whateley mean?

The surname Whateley is an English patronymic name deriving from the name Wat, which was a medieval short form of the common Germanic personal name Walter, meaning "ruler of the army". The word "ley" was added to masculine personal names, a patronymic name, to indicate the "son of". Thus, the name Whateley originally meant "son of Walter".

The Whateley surname was first recorded in Devon in the 13th century and appears in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. Over time, the name has spread to many different parts of the world.

The Whateley family motto is "Virtutis est Splendor" which translates to "The Glory of Virtue". It reflects the family's commitment to integrity and honour throughout their history.

Today, the Whateley surname exists in many variations, including Whately, Whatley, Whattley, Whatelye, Whatly and Whattly.

Whateley is an established surname belonging to a historically notable family, and is still commonly found throughout the British Isles. It is also found with increasing frequency in the United States. Some of the most notable people with the Whateley surname include British-American physician and pioneer of medical education George Whateley, American historian Joseph Whateley, and British actor Tom Whateley.

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Whateley: Where does the name Whateley come from?

The surname WHATELEY is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational name from the village of Whateley in Warwickshire. It is a picturesque village, located on the banks of the River Arrow and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Watelei".

Today, the surname WHATELEY is mainly found in the United Kingdom, most significantly in the West Midlands, with higher concentrations in the historic counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire. The surname remains common in England’s midlands, with most bearers living in Birmingham and Coventry.

Outside of England, the surname is most common in Australia, in particular in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, and Base Territory. It is most likely the result of British emigration in the 18th and 19th centuries, with bearers of the surname likely settling in Australia after the gold rush and in search of a better life.

In the United States, the surname WHATELEY is not as prevalent as in the United Kingdom. It is most common in the states of California, New York, and Massachusetts, as well as in North Carolina, Georgia, and Washington. It is likely that these US bearers of the surname are primarily descendants of British settlers or are individuals who recently changed their name after emigrating.

Variations of the surname Whateley

Whateley is an English surname of Anglo-Saxon origin that is believed to have derived from several distinct source meanings. The most common source is believed to be the Old English pre-7th Century "hwatel," which means "watch or guard tower"; this suggests that the original bearer of the Whateley name and his descendants were likely related to a fortification or a place that had an outlook or line of sight.

In addition to the spelling of Whateley, there are several other variants of the surname, including Whetley, Whatley, or Whatly; each of these variations arise from spelling errors or phonetic approximations when recording names during the Anglo-Saxon period.

Moreover, there are several possible surnames of the same origin that may have derived from Whateley. These include Whitley, Whiteway, Whitehoe, Whitham, Whetam, Whipps, Whicker, Whoppee, Whiffen, Whitehorn, Whitly, Whittock, Whitelow, and Witney.

Each of these surnames may have evolved from Whateley and, taken together, represent the geographical and cultural spread of the original name. Furthermore, all of these surnames share the same Anglo-Saxon roots, thus providing a sense of connection to people with the same heritage.

Famous people with the name Whateley

  • Kenneth Whateley: English actor who has appeared in films such as The Wanderers and Forty Shades of Blue.
  • Todd Whateley: Australian actor and model known for roles in Home and Away and Satisfaction.
  • Beatrix Whateley: English actress most notable for playing Lydia 'Pinky' Dowd in the BBC series The House of Eliott.
  • Joanne Whateley: British actress who has appeared on television in shows such as Community, DCI Banks and Midsomer Murders.
  • Michelle Whateley: English film director and producer whose credits include A Room with a View, Female Agents and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.
  • John Whateley: American screenwriter and producer whose works include Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen.
  • Eve Whateley: English theatre and television actress whose appearances include the original production of The Rocky Horror Show and Upstairs, Downstairs.
  • James Whateley: British writer and journalist whose works include The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Huffington Post.
  • Harold Whateley: British painter known for his landscapes in which he focused on capturing the "British countryside."
  • Mabel Whateley: English journalist and novelist whose work included the Girl Behind the Gun series of World War I novels.

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