This name, recorded in Church Registers of England and Scotland from the late 16th Century under the variant spellings Wetherleye, Witherly, Wedderly, and Weatherly, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational either from Witherley in Leicestershire, or from a place called Wedderlie near Gordon in Berwickshire. The former, recorded as "Witherethel" in the 1202 Curia Regis Rolls of that county, has as it's first element the Olde English pre 7th Century female given name "Wigtherythe", plus "leah", a clearing in a wood. The latter is so called from the Olde English "wether", a wether or ram, plus "leah"; hence "clearing where rams were kept". On January 6th 1618, Edward Witherly and Lettyce Skynner were married in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, and in 1656, Ann Weatherly, an infant, was christened in Colchester Quakers Church, Essex. Phebe Weatherley and Thomas Bridge were married in the above church in 1691. Berwickshire Registers show the christening of James Weatherly in Coldingham (April 29th 1736), and the christening of Mary Wedderly in Greenlaw (January, 1776). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ellyn Wetherleye, which was dated October 15th 1587, marriage to John Hall, at Northolt, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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