History of your Surname
Get access to Whitley family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Whitley Family History

Whitley Surname Meaning

English: habitational name from one or more of the many places called Whitley (in Yorkshire Cheshire Northumberland Wiltshire Warwickshire) Whiteley or Whitleigh (in Berkshire). The placename is common generally with the meaning ‘white clearing’ (Old English hwīt ‘white’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’) or occasionally ‘wheat clearing’ (Old English hwǣte + lēah). According to Redmonds the Yorkshire surname originated in a locality in the Elland area perhaps White Lee in Scammonden or White Lee in Mytholmroyd.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Whatley, Whitney, Willey, Wheatley, Shipley, Wortley, Hatley, Smitley

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Whitley family from?

You can see how Whitley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Whitley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Whitley families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 965 Whitley families living in Yorkshire. This was about 39% of all the recorded Whitley's in United Kingdom. Yorkshire had the highest population of Whitley families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Whitley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Whitley ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Whitley. 11% of Whitley men worked as a General Labourer and 70% of Whitley women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Whitley were Colliery Hewer and Housekeeper. .

View Census Data for Whitley | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Builders Labourer
  • Colliery Hewer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Housewife
  • Private Means
  • Housekeeper
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Whitley family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 132,000 census records available for the last name Whitley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Whitley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Whitley

Passenger Lists

There are 9,000 immigration records available for the last name Whitley. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Whitley immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 24,000 military records available for the last name Whitley. For the veterans among your Whitley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Whitley military records

You've only scratched the surface of Whitley family history

Discover More

What is the average Whitley lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Whitley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1954, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Whitley in 1942 was 36, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Whitley

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Whitley family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Whitley last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial