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Surname Whatley - Meaning and Origin

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A Genetic Journey Through Time and Space: Unravelling the History of the Whatley Surname through iGENEA DNA test

The iGENEA DNA test provides a deep dive into my genetic lineage, particularly focusing on my surname, Whatley. Originating from the British Isles during the Anglo-Saxon period, the results showed an intriguing mix of Viking and Celtic heritage, tying my ancestry back to key historical movements and rich cultural legacies spread throughout Europe.

V. Whatley

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Whatley: What does the surname Whatley mean?

The last name Whatley is of English and Scottish origin. It is an occupational name, derived from the Old English and Scots terms "waddeler," meaning "wattle maker" or "wattle worker," referring to a person who used wattle, a type of interwoven twig and branch material used to construct hut walls and other items.

Whatley may have been derived from the Old English word, "hwat," meaning "white," so it may also refer to someone with a fair complexion or a white complexion. The surname has various spellings, such as Whately, Waddell, Wattell, and Wattelay.

Throughout history, the Whatley family has had notable members. In 1705, William Whatley wrote a book about the tile-making business, which brought him considerable fame in the industry. The playwright, actor and producer Mike Whatley gained renown for his work in the West End of London.

Whatley continues to be a popular surname in England and Scotland, as evidenced by its frequent occurrence and variations in the countries' telephone directories. The United States Census records the surname most frequently in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina.

Those who bear the Whatley name have a rich heritage to be proud of, with ties to mainstay professions and inspiring members that have made an impact on the history of their respective communities.

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Whatley: Where does the name Whatley come from?

The last name Whatley is common in some places around the world. In the United States, the name is most concentrated in the southeastern states, with a particularly strong presence in Alabama where it is the 100th most common surname. It is also well-represented in Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

In the UK, the name is most commonly found in London and the surrounding areas, making it the 482nd most popular name in the country. It is also relatively common in Wales and the West Midlands.

It is believed that the Whatley name originated in England, with early records suggesting that the family lived in Wiltshire for many generations before spreading out to various parts of the country. It is also found in other parts of Europe, with the name carried over by immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Whatley name continues to proliferate, with many families bearing the honored ancestor's name around the world.

Variations of the surname Whatley

Whatley is an English surname with several known variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin.

The most common variants are Watley, Whateley, Wheateley, Whetley, Whitley, and Wootley, all pronounced the same.

The spelling Whatley, which is the most common, is thought to have derived from the Old English word ‘whatel’ and the word ‘lēah’, meaning ‘clearing’. The family name could be translated as ‘a clearing in the forest’.

Other spellings of Whatley may have derived from the Anglo-Saxon language. For example, Whateley may come from the Old English words ‘hwæte’ which means ‘breeze’ and ‘lēah’ meaning ‘clearing’, while Whitley may come from ‘hwit’ meaning ‘white’ and ‘lēah’ meaning ‘clearing’.

Other surnames of the same origin include Whetley, Wootley, Watney, Wheatley, and Wheatley. All of them are believed to have derived from the Old English words ‘wheteln’ meaning ‘wheat’ and ‘lēah’ meaning ‘clearing’.

The Whatley name, together with its variants and spellings, is found primarily in England, but is also present in North America and other countries around the world.

The Whatley surname is popularly associated with the phrase ‘whats one more’, perhaps indicating that the family were welcoming and open to adding more members to their already large families.

Famous people with the name Whatley

  • Christopher Whatley: Scottish academic and historian specializing in the history of Scotland
  • Patrick Whatley: American film editor, best known for his work on the Oscar-winning film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Kim Whatley: Australian born-singer and teacher
  • Dave Whatley: American professional football player
  • Lamar Whatley: American gospel singer
  • Bill Whatley: American professional basketball player
  • Kenny Whatley: English actor, producer, director, and comedian
  • Bud Whatley: American politician and state legislator
  • Joseph Whatley: American reproduction furniture craftsman
  • Rodney Whatley: American television host and producer

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