Whatley last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Whatley is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Whatley.

Meaning of Whatley

An English habitational surname derived from places in Essex and Somerset, likely meaning "wheat meadow" or "woodland clearing."

Whatley, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Whatley surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Whatley in America

Whatley is the 3109th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Whatley surname appeared 11,579 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 4 people would have the surname Whatley.

We can also compare 2010 data for Whatley to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 3109 3008 3.30%
Count 11,579 11,039 4.77%
Proportion per 100k 3.93 4.09 -3.99%

The history of the last name Whatley

The surname Whatley is of English origin, with its earliest roots traced back to the medieval period. It is believed to have originated as a locational surname, derived from a place name. The most likely origin is the village of Whatley in Somerset, which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Watelie."

The name Whatley is thought to be derived from the Old English words "hwæt" meaning "wheat" and "leah" meaning "a clearing or meadow." This suggests that the original bearer of the surname may have lived near a wheat field or a clearing where wheat was grown.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Whatley can be found in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset from 1196, where a person named Robert de Whateleg is mentioned. This spelling variation reflects the evolution of the name over time.

In the 13th century, records show the name appearing as "de Whateleye" and "de Whatelie," further indicating its locational origins. During this period, the use of surnames was becoming more widespread, and individuals often took their surnames from the place where they lived or were born.

Notable individuals bearing the surname Whatley throughout history include Sir William Whatley (1583-1639), an English Member of Parliament and landowner in Somerset. Another prominent figure was Robert Whatley (1661-1720), an English clergyman and author who served as the rector of Stockton-on-Tees.

In the 18th century, Archibald Whatley (1726-1805) was a renowned English banker and merchant who played a significant role in the financial affairs of the British East India Company. During the same period, Samuel Whatley (1768-1837) was a Church of England clergyman and author, known for his sermons and religious writings.

Moving into the 19th century, John Whatley (1795-1860) was a British naval officer who served in the Royal Navy and participated in several notable battles during the Napoleonic Wars. He later became a prolific writer and published works on naval history and strategy.

These examples showcase the widespread presence of the surname Whatley throughout English history, with individuals from various professions and backgrounds bearing this name. While the exact origins may be shrouded in the mists of time, the locational roots and connections to the village of Whatley in Somerset remain a plausible and widely accepted explanation for the surname's origins.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Whatley

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Whatley.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Whatley was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 69.44% 8,040
Non-Hispanic Black Only 22.96% 2,659
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.42% 49
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.55% 64
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.07% 240
Hispanic Origin 4.55% 527

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Whatley has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 69.44% 71.59% -3.05%
Black 22.96% 22.30% 2.92%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.42% 0.29% 36.62%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.55% 0.48% 13.59%
Two or More Races 2.07% 1.47% 33.90%
Hispanic 4.55% 3.87% 16.15%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Whatley was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Whatley, please contact us.

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"Whatley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 17, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/whatley-surname-popularity/.

"Whatley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/whatley-surname-popularity/. Accessed 17 July, 2024

Whatley last name popularity, history, and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/whatley-surname-popularity/.

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