Whitley last name popularity, history, and meaning

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

Meaning of Whitley

From a place name meaning "white meadow" in Old English.

Whitley, 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 Whitley surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Whitley in America

Whitley is the 1313th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Whitley surname appeared 26,732 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 9 people would have the surname Whitley.

We can also compare 2010 data for Whitley 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 1313 1236 6.04%
Count 26,732 26,078 2.48%
Proportion per 100k 9.06 9.67 -6.51%

The history of the last name Whitley

The surname Whitley originates from England and dates back to the early medieval period. It is a locational name derived from various places named Whitley, which are found in counties such as Berkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire. The name is thought to derive from the Old English words "hwit," meaning white, and "leah," meaning a woodland clearing or meadow.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the surname Whitley can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is listed as Witelei. This entry refers to a place in Derbyshire, suggesting that the surname may have originated from this location.

During the 13th century, the surname appears in various records with various spellings, such as Wyteleye, Whytelay, and Whyteley. These variations reflect the development of the English language and the regional dialects of the time.

Notable individuals with the surname Whitley throughout history include Thomas Whitley (c. 1616-1696), an English politician who served as a Member of Parliament for Northampton during the 17th century. Another prominent figure was John Whitley (1573-1615), an English clergyman and academic who served as the Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

In the 18th century, William Whitley (1718-1771) was a British architect and surveyor who designed several notable buildings in London, including the Founders' Wing of Christ's Hospital. Additionally, Richard Whitley (1805-1865) was an English industrialist and entrepreneur who played a significant role in the development of the coal mining industry in the North East of England.

One of the most renowned individuals with the surname Whitley was Opal Whiteley (1897-1992), an American writer and naturalist known for her childhood diary, published in 1920 as "The Diary of an Ostrich Chick." Although the authenticity of the diary was initially questioned, it later gained recognition for its literary value and insights into the natural world.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Whitley

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

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 Whitley was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 72.22% 19,306
Non-Hispanic Black Only 22.85% 6,108
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.44% 118
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.52% 139
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.89% 505
Hispanic Origin 2.09% 559

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 Whitley has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 72.22% 74.59% -3.23%
Black 22.85% 21.96% 3.97%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.44% 0.30% 37.84%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.52% 0.51% 1.94%
Two or More Races 1.89% 1.31% 36.25%
Hispanic 2.09% 1.33% 44.44%

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 Whitley was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

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

Reference this page

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"Whitley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 13, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/whitley-surname-popularity/.

"Whitley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/whitley-surname-popularity/. Accessed 13 July, 2024

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

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