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The are generally four different sources for Surnames which served as more specific identification of a person. These include 1) occupation, 2) location, 3) father's name, or 4) personal characteristics. The Worley surname appears to be of the location type and derived from the English villages of of Great and Little Wyrley in Staffordshire.

Most placenames are combinations of Old English (Anglo-Saxon) placename elements which describe, mainly, the local topography and date from between 400-1100 AD. The placename Wyrley has as its roots[1] the OE elements wir (the bog-myrtle or myrica gale) and leah (a glade or clearing), meaning a clearing where this plant grew. The name was recorded as Wereleia in the Domesday survey, as Wirlega in 1170 and 1176, and as Great Wyrley by 1300.


1. Oakden, J.P. (1984) The Placenames of Staffordshire. English Place Name Society vol. LV

External Links

1. Colin Worley's Genealogy Web Site
2. Worley Family Genealogy Forum

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