Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Hedley Name
Origins of Hedley:
This unusual name is English. Listed in the spellings of Headley and Hedley, it was formerly a geographical surname from any of the different places called Headley or Hedley. The old place name spellings are from the divisions of Hampshire, Surrey, Worcestershire and West Yorkshire, while the places called Hedley are in Division Durham and Northumberland. These are differently noted in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Hallege, Hallega, and Hethleia and all share a similar basic meaning and origin, which is the “clearing in the heather”, from the Old English pre 7th Century “haeth”, which means heathland or heather, with “leah”, which means a fenced clearing or farmland. The surname advancement contains Nicholas de Heddeleg, of Shropshire in 1275, Cecilia de Hedlegh of Yorkshire in 1292, and Willelmus de Hedlay also of Yorkshire in the base Census Tax rolls of the year 1379. Amongst the recordings of the surname in the remaining early parish records of the parish of Greater London, is that of the wedding of John Hedley and Margery Latham, at St. Margaret’s parish, Westminster, in September 1542.
More common variations are: Headley, Heddley, Hewdley, Heedley, Heodley, Hedaley, Heudley, Heidley, Hiedley, Hedly
The surname Hedley first appeared in Shropshire and Hampshire. One of the first recordings of the name was Siward de Hedeleia who noted in 1148, in Winton, Hampshire. Stephen de Hedleye has recorded the Premium Rolls of Worcestershire in 1327. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Alan de Hedleg, and Nicholas de Heddeleg in Shropshire and the Yorkshire Census Tax Records of 1379 list Willelmus de Hedlay and Margareta de Hedelay.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Alan de Hedleg, dated about 1273, in the “Hundred Rolls” of the country of Shropshire. It was during the time of King Edward 1, dated 1272 – 1307. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Hedley had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Hedley landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Hedley who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Edward and Theo Hedley, who settled in Bermuda in 1635. Edward Hedley landed in Bermuda in 1635.
People with the surname Hedley who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Henry Hedley landed in New York in 1799.
The following century saw much more Hedley surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Hedley who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included John Hedley, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813. Hartas Hedley, who arrived in New York in 1825.
Some of the population with the surname Hedley who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Alex Hedley at the age of 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Maraval” in 1879. Mary Hedley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Maraval” in 1879. James Hedley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Maraval” in 1879. Margaret Hedley also arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Maraval” in the same year 1879.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Hedley: England 4,926; Australia 1,203; United States 1,058; South Africa 950; Canada 789; New Zealand 594; Scotland 276; Mauritius 219; Northern Ireland 215; Wales 192
Charles Hedley (1862–1926), was a malacologist from England and then Australia, winner of the Clarke Award.
Charles Hedley (rugby league), was an Australian rugby football player.
Jack Hedley (born 1930 as Jack Hawkins), was a British actor.
Lieut. Robert Hedley (1857–1884), was an English commander of the Royal Engineers in the 1878 FA Cup Final.
Thomas Hedley was a publisher.
William Hedley (1779–1843), was a British industrial engineer.
Hedley Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Hedley blazon are the falcon, chevron, cross crosslet and leopard’s face. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and argent .
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name . The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”.