Woodley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

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This old and interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from Woodleigh in Devonshire, or Woodley in Berkshire, acquiring from the Olde English pre 7th Century “wudu” meaning wood plus “leah”, pasture, clearing, hence “glade in wood”. More common variations are: Woodlley, Woodeley, Woodly, Wodley, Woodle, Woodale, Wootlry, Woodtle, Woodlee, Woodtly.

The surname Woodley first appeared in Devon, where the family held a seat at Woodleigh, after the Norman Invasion of 1066. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Aelfnod ate Wudeleage,  dated 1008-1012, in the “Olde English Bynames of Devonshire”. It was during the reign of King Ethelred 1st, who was known as “The Unready” dated 978-1016.  Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Woodley who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Ann Woodley, who arrived in Virginia in 1623.  Thomas Woodley who settled in Barbados in 1663. William Woodley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683. People with the surname Woodley who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Andrew Woodley, who landed in Virginia in 1714.  Benjamin and William Woodley, who arrived in New England in 1772. Some of the people with the surname Woodley who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included George Woodley, who arrived in New York in 1822. People with the surname Woodley who landed in the United States in the 20th century included Ada Woodley, aged 31, who landed in America from Brighton, England, in 1907.  Christian Woodley, aged 2, who landed in America from Bermuda, in 1907.

People with the surname Woodley who landed in the Canada in the 18th century included Mr George Woodley U.E., (Woodlye) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784.  Mr George Woodley Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784. Some of the people with the surname Woodley who arrived in the Canada in the 20th century included Harold G. Woodley, aged 34, who emigrated to Calgary, Canada, in 1908.

Some of the individuals with the surname Woodley who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Thomas Woodley, English convict from Southampton, who moved aboard the “Andromeda” in November 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Sable a chevron between three owls argent. Crest—An owl argent.

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