The Whatleys are generally considered to originate in and around the town of Frome (rhymes with broom) in Somerset County, England. There is a church parish named Whatley not far from there. There are also parishes named Whatley in Bath and Wells.
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003:
"WHATLEY, a parish in the hundred of Frome, county Somerset, 2½ miles S.W. of Frome. The village is situated on elevated ground adjoining the road from Salisbury through Wells to Exeter. The manufacture of woollen cloth is partially carried on, and there is a factory for agricultural implements. The parish includes the chapelry of Chantry and the hamlet of Little Elm. The surface is diversified, and at the western extremity of the parish are remains of Tedbury Camp, where a Roman bath, tesselated pavements, and figures of dolphins, and the head of a goddess, supposed to be Cybele, have been discovered. There are quarries of limestone, whetstone, and inferior freestone. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £230. The church, dedicated to St. George, contains the effigies of a crusader, and is sheltered by thick overhanging woods. The Wesleyans and Independents have chapels with schools annexed. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum."
Early English Ancestors
There are several Whatley ancestors who are mentioned in old English documents and records. One of the earliest records of this name is of a man named Lambert de Watileia, who is listed in the Geld Roll, taken in 1084. There was a Martin de Watelega listed in the Pipe Rolls in 1219, and Peter de Watteleg in 1221. (From the Historical Research Center - Family Name History)
There is a John Whatley listed as an archer listed in the Muster Roll of the retinue of the Duke of Somerset in 1443. (mediavalsoldier.org)
Here is a suggested lineage of early English Whatleys compiled from other Whatley websites. This lineage has not been proven, and there is disagreement over its accuracy.
CAPT. JOHN WHEATLEIGH was born Abt. 1530 in Tingsboro (Timsbury), Somerset, England, and died 24 Mar 1593 in Tingsboro (Timsbury), Somerset, England. He married MARY.
Child of JOHN WHEATLEIGH and MARY is:
- i. RICHARD WHEATLEIGH, b. 03 May 1565, Tingsboro, Somerset, England; d. Aft. 1595.
RICHARD WHEATLEIGH was born 03 May 1565 in Tingsboro, Somerset, England, and died Aft. 1595. He married MARY.
Child of RICHARD WHEATLEIGH and MARY is:
- i. COL. THOMAS WHEATLEIGH, b. 1584, Frome, Somerset, England; d. VA.
COL. THOMAS WHEATLEIGH was born 1584 in Frome, Somerset, England, and died in VA. He married ELIZABETH FARRAR.
Child of THOMAS WHEATLEIGH and ELIZABETH FARRAR is:
- i. CAPT. JOHN WHEATLEIGH, b. 1605; d. 1672.
CAPT. JOHN WHEATLEIGH was born 1605, and died 1672. He married ELIZABETH LYGON.
Child of JOHN WHEATLEIGH and ELIZABETH LYGON is:
- i. JOHN WHEATLEIGH, b. 1623; d. 1695, Isle of Wight, VA.
JOHN WHEATLEIGH was born 1623, and died 1695 in Isle of Wight, VA. He married LYDIA TALBOT.
Child of JOHN WHEATLEIGH and LYDIA TALBOT is:
- i. BENJAMIN WHEATLEIGH, b. 1645, VA; d. England.
BENJAMIN WHEATLEIGH was born 1645 in VA, and died in England. He married FRANCES ROLLE.
Child of BENJAMIN WHEATLEIGH and FRANCES ROLLE is:
- i. SAMUEL WHATLEY, b. 1670, Somerset, England; d. 21 Jan 1739, Tyrrel County, NC.
SAMUEL WHATLEY was born 1670 in Somerset, England, and died 21 Jan 1739 in Tyrrel County, NC. He married MARY SHIRLEY. She was born 08 Jun 1676 in St. Stephens Parish, Northumberland County, VA.
Child of SAMUEL WHATLEY and MARY SHIRLEY is:
- SHIRLEY WHATLEY, b. 1690, Jamestown, James City, VA; d. 27 Aug 1779, Warren County, NC.