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About us

The Whateley DNA Project welcomes all participants. We encourage you to join today!.

Our project is just getting started, and we expect to have many exciting discoveries.  

Participating is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help with your research of your family tree. We will also discover which family trees are related. As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information on the evolution of the surname.

The surnames in this DNA Project are researched as part of the Whateley one-name study. You can learn more about this significant research, and the associated family trees, by visiting the one-name study web site, or contacting the Group Administrator.


The name WHATELEY originates in the village of WHATELEY in North Warwickshire, near Tamworth in the parish of KINGSBURY

The earliest reference is in 1221, named as Wheatlege (from Whate, wheat, and leah, clearing)

The name spread south through Warwickshire, concentrating in the areas around Henley-in-Arden (and Studley, Beoley etc), Banbury and Stratford.

WHATELEY is not common, with about 200 instances in records from 1841 to 2000's in UK.

The US 1920 Census has 19 WHATELEY’s with a British birthplace.

A number of WHATELEY’s were transported to Australia and a number emigrated in the early 1900’s. The Eligible Voters register for 1936 shows 20 in Victoria and 3 in NSW.

In all the UK census returns from 1841 to 1901, 60-70% of the WHATELEY’s resided in the 3 West Midland counties of Warwickshire/Worcestershire/Staffordshire.

Data for 1984-2005 shows 31 deaths in Warwickshire out of a total of 60 (next highest is Yorkshire with 7)

Olly Whatele, who was involved in the Lindberg kidnapping emigrated to the US in 1930 from Birmingham.

The only variant considered is WHATELY. It is rumoured that the second ‘E’ was dropped from WHATELEY by a clerk in Banbury in ca 1700.

The Rev. David S. Whateley constructed a comprehensive tree for the "Whateley’s of Warwickshire" a few years ago which he maintained on the Whateley.org website (no longer in use). This goes back to the early 1500’s and he has kindly given me access.

I have my own ancestry back to 1745 (in Studley, Warwickshire) This research has connected me with several more Whateley’s. My tree is viewable on Genesreunited.co.uk and Ancestry.co.uk.

The Y DNA test tells you about your direct male line, which would be your father, his father, and back in time. You must be male to take this test, and you should have one of the surnames shown. If you believe there is a Whateley or variant in your direct male line, although you have a different surname, you are also welcome to participate. If you are female, you will need to find a direct line male in your family tree to participate and represent your tree.

We encourage males to order a Y-DNA test for 37 markers, if possible. If you order less markers, you can upgrade later, though this costs a little more.

Both males and females may also be interested in learning about their direct female line, which would be their mother, their mother's mother, and back in time. Both men and women inherit mtDNA, although only women pass it on. To explore your direct female line, you would order a mtDNA test. For matches in a genealogical time frame, order the mtDNA Full Sequence test.

We have also established a General Fund, to accept donations in any currency via credit card. These funds will be held at the testing company, and used to help sponsor test kits for those key males who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of participation in the project. We encourage you to make a donation. To make a donation please click on the link below "To donate to the general fund please click here". If you decide to donate, please specify "Whateley Project General Fund" in the top box of the Donation form.