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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I have been a member of the Guild for 30+ years and have researched the name Westerdale for nearly 50 years. Over that time I have developed dozens of family trees, many now linked together. I am keen to hear from anyone who has the name 'Westerdale' in their family and I hope to be able to share some of the research I have done.
The reason I started this one name study is that like many other family historians I 'hit a brick wall', in the early 1700s -BUT I have just (2017) found that my five X Great grandfather Samuel Westerdale was baptised in a small village in Rutland. He was the son of Mark Westerdale and his wife Margaret, baptised 3rd February 1691/2. Mark, the father, was also baptised at Exton on 25th April 1662, the son of John & Mary. John married his first wife in Exton 29th November 1642. That is as far back as I have got at the moment!

Variant names

I have collected a mass of data from many sources and the only other real variant I have found is 'Westerndale'. Other spellings appear to be misspellings

Name origin

The majority of family events collected are in the north and east of England. There is a village in the North York Moors called Westerdale and another in Caithness, Scotland. Both are quite small villages on the eastern side of Brittain. Whilst the name in England is likely to be said to be locatory, there is strong evidence that the name is probably Swedish in origin. Indeed there are two individuals in England during the 19th century who were born in Sweden. So when each founder of a family arrived in England, either 1000+ years ago or possibly less that 125 years has to be determined.

Historical occurrences of the name

Not exactly famous but my Great Great grandfather George Westerdale who was born in 1828, in a very small village in Lincolnshire became a Metropolitan Policeman in London and reported in the press in England, and as far away as Australia, was an event when General Peel, (Secretary of State for War) on a visit to Woolwich Arsenal was told by PC Westerdale 205R to put out his cigar!!! The General complimented him for his zealous performance of duty!

Name frequency


Distribution of the name

There appears to be three main distinct groups in England. Hull and district, East Midlands & Lincolnshire, and lastly two men who said that they were born in Sweden. Of these three groups the Hull and district has by far the most occurences, followed by small family groups in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. There are significant branches in the USA and a smaller one in Australia, both related to the East Midland branch.


I have collected all mentions from the GRO index (1837 - 2004) and most of the censuses. Many copies of Probate records have been collected as well as hundreds of parish register entries.