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Surname Worley - Meaning and Origin

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Worley: What does the surname Worley mean?

The last name Worley is an English surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, likely derived from the Old English 'wergel,' meaning 'homestead.' Those who adopted the Worley name likely originated from a settlement with the same name, which was found in the counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Worley appears to be the most commonly used form of the name, though it is also found with a variety of spellings such as Worly, Worlee, Worleigh, and Wurley.

Throughout its history, the Worley surname has been associated with agriculture, most likely stemming from the homestead aspect of its origin. In the Middle Ages in England, Worley families were found as prominent members of villages and parishes. A number of Worleys were also industrial workers, found in reasons such as metalworking and weaving in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Worley surname is still very much alive and well today, and has spread far beyond its original settlement to an array of countries around the world. It has been noted in America, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, as well as many other parts of the British Isles.

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Worley: Where does the name Worley come from?

The last name Worley is most commonly found in the United States today. According to the US Census Bureau, the surname Worley is the 4,053rd most common name in the US as of 2019. It is most populous in states such as South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arkansas, with South Carolina boasting the highest concentration of Worley's.

The last name's origin is unknown but its popularity likely started in the 1700s during the beginning of the American settlement period when many settlers from England and the British Isles began arriving in the colonies. Today, the Worley name stretches across many different family branches and cultural backgrounds, with Worley's being of English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Native American descent.

Worley is a name that still holds its prominent place in America today. Aside from being the last name of many notable figures in the US political and entertainment industry, Worley is also the adopted surname of the current US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

In conclusion, the last name Worley is most common in the United States today and is particularly prominent in a handful of states such as South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arkansas. The name stretches across many different family backgrounds and also holds a noteworthy presence in the form of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the current US ambassador to the United Nations.

Variations of the surname Worley

The surname Worley is an anglicised form of the Old Norse Vör. The spelling Vorr was found when surnames first began to be recorded in the medieval period. The variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin as Worley include Warley, Warly, Wordley, Vorey, Vorie, Vore, Vorley, Vorlie, Vorr, Vorell, and Worrell. All these surnames have the same roots in the Old Norse word Vör, which means shore or bank.

The surname Worley became common around the thirteenth century during the Norman Conquest of Britain. It is thought to have been originally borne by a Norman family who had come over to Britain with the conquerors. The surname Vorr was more common in the area that is now Norway and may have been brought over to Britain by Viking settlers. It is likely that it was anglicised to Worley as this was an easier spelling for English scribes to record.

Today, Worley is fairly widely distributed across the British Isles and in North America. This suggests that it was fairly popular a few hundred years ago when it first came to England and was likely adopted by other families over time. It is likely that different family lines adopted the Worley spelling independently in different locations.

In the US, the Worley surname is most common in Texas, while in Canada it is most widespread in Ontario and Newfoundland. It is interesting to note that the Worleys from Newfoundland have an Irish origin, likely due to the fact that Irish families migrated to the area in the 19th century. There is also a large concentration of Worleys in South Carolina, which could suggest it was brought over from England by settlers.

Famous people with the name Worley

  • Alison Worley: American actress and screenwriter
  • Alvin Worley: American wide receiver in the NFL
  • Belinda Worley: physical therapist
  • Chad Worley: American professional baseball player
  • David Worley: ex-Chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Donna Worley: former member of the Georgia House of Representatives
  • Edd Worley: former Border Patrol agent and military sniper
  • Jon Worley: former NFL player and current youth soccer coach
  • Lucas Worley: American artist and tattoo entrepreneur
  • Melissa Worley: two-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Paul Worley: American record producer
  • Rodney Worley: former NFL linebacker
  • Sarah Worley: American former professional volleyball player
  • Shannon Worley: American professional wrestler
  • Troy Worley: professional ice hockey player
  • Tyler Worley: professional snowboarder
  • Vanessa Worley: singer and reality TV star
  • Walt Worley: former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Zachary Worley:musician and record producer

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