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Surname Wiley - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Unveiling The Surprising Lineage of The Wiley Surname Through iGENEA DNA Test

My journey into my DNA history via the iGENEA test left me speechless and surprised. The ancient lineage of Wiley, my surname, unrolled some incredible twists and turns: from European aristocracy to a forgotten Native American connection.

F. Wiley

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Wiley: What does the surname Wiley mean?

The surname Wiley is of English and Scottish origin and is derived from the pre 7th century word "wilig", which means a willow. The name was likely given to someone who lived by a grove of willow trees, or perhaps in a place where willow was grown for commercial purposes. It could also be a local name for someone who lived in a meadow or clearing (the second part, “ley” stands for a clearing in a wood in Old English). The name is primarily found in northern England and Scotland. Over time, as people migrated, the name was spread to other regions and countries. The surname Wiley has several variations including Wylei, Wilie, Wylie, and Wyly. It is worth noting that surnames in old times often were given based on a person's profession, place of residence, or father’s name, and it evolved through history based on personal or family characteristics.

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Wiley: Where does the name Wiley come from?

The last name Wiley is of Scottish origin. It is derived from a place name, likely from the former barony of Wilie in the parish of Monikie, Angus. The name may also have been used as a nickname for a crafty or tricky individual, from the Middle English "wile" meaning "trick."

Today, the surname Wiley is most commonly found in the United States, specifically in southern and central regions. It's also fairly common in parts of England and to a lesser extent, Scotland. There are also families with this surname in Australia and Canada. It has become more geographically widespread due to emigration from the British Isles since colonial times. Despite this, it remains a relatively uncommon surname overall.

Variations of the surname Wiley

The Wiley surname has its origin in England and the British Isles. Similar to many surnames, there are numerous variations in its spelling due to factors such as historical errors in recording, differences in languages, and regional dialects.

Some variations and similar surnames to Wiley are: Wylie, Wyly, Wilie, Wyllie, Wyliie, Weiley, Wilet, Wilay, Wyley, Wyli, Wylye, Wyilee, and Weyley. These all represent possible misspellings, phonetic spellings or dialect-based variations of the name.

It's also possible to trace similar surnames due to their shared origin. These surnames include Willey, Will, Wills, and Willsy, which may derive from the same or similar root as Wiley.

Names like Wighill, Wighell, Wyghale, etc., are also situated within this scope, as they might be linked to geographic locations, such as the English village Wighill in North Yorkshire, which over time could have been shortened or adapted into Wiley.

Remember that tracing surname origins isn't an exact science and can be speculative, given the evolution and transformation names undergo through generations.

Famous people with the name Wiley

  • Kehinde Wiley: An American portrait painter known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans.
  • Richard Wiley: An American author known for his contributions to literature.
  • Susannah Wiley: A renowned American actress noted for her roles in popular TV series and films.
  • Austin Wiley: An American professional basketball player.
  • Roland Wiley: An American DJ and radio personality.
  • John Wiley: An American politician, historian, and academic.
  • Becky Jane Wiley: An accomplished American golfing professional.
  • Peter Wiley: An esteemed American cellist.
  • Marcellus Wiley: A former professional American football defensive end who is now a TV host and analyst.
  • Wiley Post: Known as the first pilot to fly solo around the world.
  • Wiley Blount Rutledge Jr.: An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • E. Wiley: A British grime MC, rapper, songwriter, DJ, and record producer, often referred to as the "Godfather of Grime".
  • Wiley Wiggins: An American actor and blogger, known for his roles in the films Dazed and Confused and Waking Life.
  • Stevie Ray Wiley: American former baseball player in Major League Baseball.
  • Vivian Wiley: American long-distance runner who specialized in various marathon events.
  • Wiley Scribner: American former professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball.

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