The surname of WHALEY was a locational name 'of Whalley', a place name in the County of Lancashire, famous for its abbey. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. The name is also spelt WALLEY, WHALLEY and WALLY. Early records of the name mention Robert de Whalley who died before 1193, who was rector of Rochdale. Geoffrey Whalley of the County of Lancashire in 1415. Thomas Whalley of Blackburn, carpenter, Wills at Chester in 1590. Raffe Walley of Middlewich, County Chester in 1604. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
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