the Domes day Book
an Old English thane passed otherwise into oblivion, had cultivated a
forest clearing and given his name to what we now call Keighley. This
the Norman clerks found, whilst compiling William the Conqueror's
Domes day Book in 1086: "In Chichelai, Ulchel, and Thole, and
Ravensuar, and William had six carucates to be taxed".
are indebted to those Normans for our first written record of the
district. The Saxon landscape they surveyed emerges sketchily, its
heavily wooded valleys dotted with clearings (-ley and -thwaite
was measured by the carucate, traditionally the extent that could be
cultivated with one plough and eight oxen in one year - upward of 120
acres, by a probably generous local estimate.
Utley (Utta's clearing). one William was taxed a carucate; William and
Gamelbar shared another at Oakworth (oak-tree enclosure). William held
carucate at Newsholme (new houses); Ravensuar, two at Laycock (small
stream); Ardulf, one at Riddlesden (Rethal's valley) - probably the same
Ardulf who, with four carucate at Morton (moorland farmstead), ranked as
the locality's biggest landowner; whilst Ernegis had one at Marley (a
clearing frequented by martens) and a half at Hainsworth (Hagena's
enclosure). "and they are waste", having presumably suffered
during the Conqueror's subjection of the North.
of the above with permission from
Christopher M. Kelly
More information was found on "The Internet
Last name: Utley
This interesting and unusual surname recorded as Otley,
Utley, Uttley, Huttley and Hutley, is of northern English
locational origin. It is probably from Utley, a village near
the town of Keighley in Yorkshire, but may be from Otlaey as
shown below. The component elements of the name are the Olde
English pre 7th century personal name Utta or Otta, both
meaning riches, plus the word leah, which today is usually
found as the suffix ley. This means literally a clearing in
a wood, but has the more probable meaning of a farm, and
hence Utta's farm. Because of the phonetic similarity, Otley,
the small town near the city of Bradford in the West Riding
of Yorkshire, is also a source of the surname. Otley is
recorded as Ottanlege in the early Yorkshire charters list
dated 1030 a.d., and as Othelai in the famous Domesday Book
of 1086. The place name again translates as Otta's farm.
Early examples of recordings taken from Yorkshire church
registers include that on August 15th 1548, of Roger Ottlay
and Margaret Nodder who were married at Rotherham, Ann
Utley, who was christened at Heptonstall on June 11th 1556,
and Mary Huttley, who was christened at St Giles Cripplegate,
city of London, on April 26th 1698. The first recorded
spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry
Hotlay. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of
Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, known as
Richard of Bordeaux, 1377 - 1399.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research
www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2016
Pictures from Keighley,
Utley & Surrounding Areas with
permission from Christopher M. Kelly
Cliffe Castle Gate
Utley Cemetery Butterfield Vault
Utley Cemetery Old Mortuary
Utley Cemetery Office
Utley News Agent
Utley Post Office
Utley St. Mark Church
Origin of the
the Book "Descendants of William Utley and Elizabeth Turner, by C. Joan
In ancient times much importance was
attached to the significance of a name and great care was exercised in the
selection of the names for the members of the family. The name "Jacob"
means supplanter. "Richard of the Lion Heart" was not accidently chosen as the
name of the historical character who bore it. The Indians appreciated this
matter, and so we have such names as "Indian Man Afraid of Nothing", "Rain in
the Face", "Sitting Bull", and so on.
The origin of the name "Utley" is
veiled in mystery, but genealogists have a theory that seems reasonable.
Gentry's "Family Names", published in 1892, lists the name "Utley" as derived
from the Anglo-Saxon "UTT", meaning "OUT", "WITHOUT", "AB ROAD", and
"LIC", meaning "LIKE". Hence, the name "UTTLEY" means "OUTLIKE",
"WITH-OUT-LIKE", "BROAD-LIKE", depending on the sense the term is used in a
In A Dictionary of Surnames,
by Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, published by Oxford University Press in
1988, Utley is listed as derived from a habitation name in Yorkshire, near
Keighley, and noted that it came from the Old English personal (given) name Utta
(of uncertain origins) plus the Old English "leah" (wood, clearing). Uttley is
given as a variant spelling.
Francis M. Smith, a noted genealogist
whose pen name is Elenor Lexington, has made a considerable study of the name
which now bears the form "UTLEY". According to her, "UTLEYING" is the only name
in current (at that time) authorities on names that is anything like "UTLEY".
She says that it may be through varying changes that the name "UTLEY" came from
the name "UTLEYING" as that is an old family name. "UTTERMARE" she says, is also
given as a word that comes from the French word "D'OUTRE", meaning "BEYOND" and
"MER" meaning "SEA" in making out the meaning of the name which refers to
"PEOPLE FROM BEYOND THE SEAS", referring no doubt, to the land across the
English Channel - Normandy - from which came William the Conqueror to England in
the 11th century. In English, the word "D'OUTRE" becomes "UTTER" and "MER"
becomes "MARE", thus making the name "UTTERMARE", meaning "BEYOND THE
SEAS", and this term was originally applied in Great Britain to a Frenchman who
came across the channel into England. The word "UTTERMARE" thus came to mean a
foreigner. The name "UTLEY" possibly goes back to this derivation. In County
Somerset, England, is found the name "UTLYING", while in Suffolk and Norfolk are
found the names "UTHER" and "UTKER", both being family names.
Dr. Harry Gibbons Utley of Gastonia,
North Carolina, says that when he was a boy, he often heard his father relate a
tradition to the effect that the progenitors of the UTLEY'S came to the Anglican
shores with William the Conqueror and settled on one of the outlying islands
that line the coast of the English Channel and that because of this fact the
tribe was called "OUTERLES" and eventually "UTLEY".
The above was copied from
the records of Rev. Chas. H. Utley and was written by J. S. Utley, of Little
Rock, Arkansas in 1932.
Copyright©2016 Heidi Utley