ATCHLEY family from Shropshire

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Wayne Atchley
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Joined: Wednesday, 27-03-2013

My name is Wayne Atchley. I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. I am trying to find information about the ATCHLEY family of Shropshire, and would like to correspond with any members of this family who still live in Shropshire, or anywhere in England. There are several alternate spellings, including ATCHELY, ATHERLYand ADDERLEY. Thanks in advance for helping me to learn more about my English heritage.

Michael J Hulme
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Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Wayne

It would help us to help you if you told us a bit more about your Shropshire ancestors.  Specifically the part of the County (Parish if you know it) that they lived in and the time period when you know they were there or at least when they left Shropshire for the USA.

If you look under 'Online databases' on the blue bar above then select 'Members Interests' you can lookup whether any Shropshire FHS members are researching your name.  Where the spelling is variable it is best to just put the first few letters.

Mike

Atcherley.org.uk
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The Atchley name seems to have been rooted in the south of Shropshire around Bromfield, Bitterley, Caynham and Ludlow with variants (in the parish registers, in wills and in documents now held by Shropshire Archives, all pre-1800) including Achley, Acheley, Achelley and Atcheley.

Some of these variants are not disimilar to the Atcherley / Acherley surname which originated in the north of Shropshire (my recently departed mother's maiden name), and I can't rule out the possibility of shared origins. However I have yet to find any documents which would prove this. If we could organise DNA testing of some male Atchley and Atcherley volunteers that should tell us whether or not there is a genetic link.

I think the Atchley surname died out in Shropshire quite some time ago. There are certainly still Atchleys elsewhere in Britain, though not many judging by the small number of Atchley births registered in England and Wales over the last few decades.

You are welcome to get in touch with me Wayne. You can track down contact details through my website.

Steve

Atcherley family historian
www.atcherley.org.uk/wordpress

Atcherley.org.uk
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I gather that the Atchley family in question can be traced back to a Thomas Atchley (or James Thomas Atchley) who is believed to have married Ruth Maple around 1720 in New Jersey, USA. Their children are said to have been Nathaniel, Joshua, Benjamin, Jesse, David, Daniel and Ruth.

I wonder if this Thomas was the Thomas Atcheley named in several documents held by Shropshire Archives and detailed on Access to Archives? He was a skinner (is anything known of the American Thomas Atchley's occupation?), and the last document in the series on which he is mentioned is dated 1717. Interesting that he seems to have been associated with a Nathaniel Price and that the first son of Thomas Atchley in America was Nathaniel, though of course that could easily be mere coincidence.

There is no guarantee that this is a match, but "Thomas, s. of Edward Achley & Mary" was baptised at Ludlow on 27 Dec 1696; this followed baptisms of "Richard, s. of Edward Achley & Mary" on 4 May 1693 and "Edward, s. of Edward Atchley & Mary" on 7 Apr 1695, also at Ludlow. A likely marriage for the parents is "Edward Achley & Mary Porter, of this p." who were married at Ludlow on 19 May 1692.

Although there are a number of records of people with the Atchley surname and variants of it in south Shropshire in the 1600s, those records are doubtless incomplete and tracing Edward's lineage further back (if he is seen as the likely father of Thomas) could be tricky, particularly as the family may also have strayed south into Herefordshire or Worcestershire, or further north within Shropshire. There was for example an Edward Achelly, parents Tho Achelly and Margaret, baptised at Bridgnorth St Mary Magdalene on 31 Oct 1655, but he could well have been the Edward Atchley, son of Mr Thomas Atchley, who was buried at Bridgnorth St Leonard on 3 Apr 1656.

Another possibility to throw into the mix, which gives us an Atchley family already established in America before 1700 with a Thomas senior and junior is this from Ancestry's Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1682-1819 collection:

Atchley, Thomas. Phila. July 5, 1695. A. 321. Estate to wife Martha. Legacy to son Thomas. Executors: Wife and friend, Thomas Tress. Date: 5 Jul 1695. Prove Date: 16 Jul 1695. Residence: Philadelphia.

No definite answers I'm afraid, but some possible lines of enquiry!

Steve

Wayne Atchley
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Last seen: 1 year 27 weeks ago
Joined: Wednesday, 27-03-2013

Steve, my family line does in fact go back to Thomas Atchley and Ruth Maples. Family lore passed orally from one generation to the next says that Thomas came from Shropshire; unfortunately I have no details regarding what part of Shropshire. The U.S. line of Atchleys fades into the mists of time prior to Thomas' immigration.

Wayne Atchley
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Last seen: 1 year 27 weeks ago
Joined: Wednesday, 27-03-2013

Steve, thank you for this information. It offers several previously unknown avenues for research.

Raymond Atchley
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Last seen: 1 year 26 weeks ago
Joined: Monday, 22-04-2013

Wayne, Good to hear from you in Oklahoma. My younger brother goes by Wayne also. We are both grandsons of James Thomas ATCHLEY (b. ca. 1695) in Staffordshire, England living in New Mexico. Feel free to take a look at my family tree at MyHeritage.com under Raymond Eugene Atchley (it's a work in constant progress). Or drop me a message. Also, there are several of my relatives buried in a small cemetary outside of Meeker, Oklahoma that you might be interested in.