Origin of the Name Wakley
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Wakley
include Wakeley, Wakely, Wackley, Wackly, Wakely and Waklie. This is a surname of locational origin derived from the town of Wakeley in the County of Hertfordshire. This name is usually of English descent from where it spread to Scotland and Wales and from there to America, Canada and beyond. This name is taken from the ancient English word 'wacherlei' meaning 'watchful of the leah'. A famous bearer of the name was Thomas Wakley (1795-1862), who was a surgeon and social reformer and co-founder of the medical journal 'The Lancet'. He campaigned against flogging as well as the adulteration of foodstuffs. William D. Wakeley developed the Cedar River Falls site in New York in the 1870s and has the Wakely Dam named for him.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Wakley coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Wakley descendants.