Family History - Geneaology

The Origin of NAMES

During the eleventh century, the Normans first introduced surnames. This became increasingly important owing to the rising population and the need to identify people from one another and between generations.

 Surnames were generated from four principle categories: -

  1. Location – Where a person dwelt e.g. John of HATFIELD
  2. Occupation – A person trade/profession e.g. BlackSMITH
  3. Nickname – A persons character/appearance e.g. GOULD (Golden hair)
  4. Patronymic – The first name of the father as the surname of the son e.g. WILLIAMSON

 The surname Hutley would appear to fall into the first category although this is open to some speculation.

 In an attempt to define the meaning of the surname, it must be split into two parts – HUT and LEY.

 The origin of HUT may have its roots in a nickname of ‘Hudde’ for Richard or Hugh. Given that the popularity for the nickname Hugh is exampled by over 90 variants, which include the Old French name of HUE.

  Alternatively it may simply refer to a shelter or a dwelling in its literal meaning.

 LEY originates from the word LEA, LEE, LAY, LEIGH, LYE or LEAH, which in Old English refers to a wood or glade. However from the Old French could refer to a meadow or grassland which maybe more accurate given the French influence upon the origin of surnames.

 The surname HUDDE-LEA would refer to HUDDES place of residence, a two-part surname. However HUT-LEA could also refer to the dwelling in the meadow implying a person is somehow connected to farming or something similar.

 Early records show a Willelmus de HUDDELEGH in the Hundred Rolls for Essex 1273. The Hundred Rolls for Cambridge recording a William de HUTTELE in 1279.

 Professor R.M Wilson who updated Professor White’s book on English Surnames believes that from research the surname is probably from a place name. Although there is no place called Hutley, from manorial records he suggests that the surname may originate from Roger de HUTTELEGE in Durham in 1242.

 The Manorial records referred to clearly indicate a Norman origin. It could be that the answer is relatively simple in that Roger de HUTTELEGE could have given rise to the origin of UTLEY in the North of England which together with its variants is common in that region albeit historically does not appear to have been common before 1550 whereas the surname Hutley does not appear in the North until the early 1600’s and then the people give Essex as their place of origin.

Clearly Utley could have been a corruption of Hutley as with local dialects it would be common to drop the ‘H’ when spoken and many clergy would spell in registers the name how it sounded – the individuals being unable to write their own name. It is for this reason that many corruptions of Hutley have arisen over the generation resulting in Huttley, Hut(t)ly, Huttle etc.

 Evidence, which suggests that the origin of the surname HUTLEY is Essex, can be found in the ‘Feet of Fine Records’ for Essex 1484. Here John Hutley (correct spelling) is recorded as being party to a dispute over land in Rothyng Margarete and Rothyng Macy totalling 1 messuage and 18 acres of land.

 This is the earliest record of the surname in its correct spelling as known today and would suggest that it was established as the correct spelling of that surname for some period of time prior.

 It was not until the mid 1500’s that records of wills, baptisms, burials and marriages were required to be kept by Royal Decree. These were prepared and recorded by the local parish clergy and relied predominantly on their ability to be accurate although mistakes were made.

  Prior to this there were no formal records and family history has to be gleaned from a variety of records of which few still exist and those that do are difficult to read and predominantly written in Latin. Where family information can be found, it suggests that for them to appear in such records they must have held some standing in the local community and in many cases could clearly read and write as evidenced by their signatures on such documents.

 Guppy wrote in his book ‘Homes of Family Names’ in the late 19th Century that the surname Hutley was peculiar in origin only to Essex. Guppy based his findings on researching surnames with a strong farming bias on the presumption that these families were more likely to retain their ties to an area and not move around the country. This presumption is to a large degree born out by the limited demographic spread of Hutley’s in the Essex County up until the mid to late 18th Century when many Hutley’s were historically yeoman farmers through the preceding generations.

 In the 1600’s with the colonisation of the New World many people looked to emigrate. In the 1630’s the earliest record of a Hutley emigrant can be found  - Richard Hutley aged 15 yrs set sail on the ship ‘Hopewell’ together with others destined to the New World. It appeared from the records to be a religious voyage of Pilgrims.

 The late 18th and early 19th Century saw the Industrial revolution change the face of Britain and agricultural reform altered the way in which farming worked. With the use of Australia as a convict destination originally, through the 19th Century many people looked to emigrate, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand seeing the greatest exodus and many Hutley’s from Essex can be found in the shipping passenger records.

 During the 19th Century there is even a recollection of Hutley’s who became missionaries travelling to Africa to preach and perform the work of the Church.

Around Britain the social pressures of the rapidly industrialising workforce saw many Hutley’s filtering from Essex around the country and into London itself where better opportunities for a better standard of living could be found.

 Many Hutley ancestors saw active service in both the World Wars. For example during the Battle of Britain (10th July-31st Oct 1940) 211 Fighter Pilots were killed officially in action with the German Luftwaffe. Pilot Officer R.R. Hutley of 213 squadron & 32 squadron was one of those officers, shot down over the English Channel. He baled out of his Hurricane I (P2720) on the 29th October off Selsey at 11.45 hrs. He was picked up but died later and is now buried at Tangmere cemetery.

 Hutley’s now live all over the world. There are many examples of where they have reach positions of note within their respective field or community. For example several WWII officer awarded the MBE; The Honourable Justice FC Hutley, a Judge in Sydney, Australia; The Hutley in New Zealand commended for bravery in saving a life at sea; Charles Hutley a renowned scientist in London and the list goes on.

At the Innes of Court in London, a bench can be seen in commemoration of Ruth Hutley – the origins or story behind it unknown.

 The 20th Century has seen through the advancement of the media Hutley’s regularly appearing in the local or national newspapers or on Television. During the 1970’s on Match of the Day, at all Fulham Football games a hoarding could be seen advertising ‘Tony Hutley estate agent’ and in the daily Mirror in the early 1980’s a Terrence Hutley was reported as having only the 4th ever recorded set of twins where one was white and one was black.

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