The surname Atcherley (sometimes written as Atcherly and in the past also as Acherley) appears to have originated in Shropshire and has an ancient pedigree. One of the oldest documents featuring the name dates back to the early 1400s and can be found in the Shropshire Archives. Among two dozen of the residents of ‘Basschurche’ listed therein is Hugh de Acherley.

Another early Atcherley was mentioned in Sir Bernard Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry. Sir Roger Atcherley (or Achelley), also from the Shropshire parish of Baschurch, was elected sheriff of Middlesex and London in 1504 and chosen to be Lord Mayor of London in 1511, during the reign of Henry VIII. He “filled several civic offices of high trust with distinction” before his death in 1521.

No wonder then that the Rev. James Atcherley (head master of Shrewsbury School) was said by one author to be “of a good old Shropshire name.”

The Atcherley name has survived through the centuries, borne by farmers and farm labourers, doctors and vets, merchants and drapers, engineers and chemists, artists and musicians, soldiers, sailors, Royal Marines and RAF pilots, Knights of the realm and domestic servants.

Whether their lives were ordinary or extraordinary, all the Atcherleys have stories to tell. With the help of various public records, books, wills, other historical documents and the recollections of their living descendants, the stories of the Atcherleys can be told and their family trees can be traced. The aim of this website is to make those stories and family trees, the Atcherley family history, accessible to everyone with an interest in this fascinating family.

About me

Born in the English Midlands in nineteen hundred and frozen stiff, I moved with my family from the Big City to a former Market Town when I was 10. After leaving school I started an office job, and I’m still with the same employer (but in a different location). The fascination with animals and nature which I developed as a child remained with me into adulthood. As a result, for many years I spent most of my spare time watching, studying and working to protect wildlife. I also became vegetarian, and then vegan. My Mum’s maiden surname intrigued me for some time before an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? finally prompted me to look into my maternal family history. I was soon hooked, an interest gradually turned into a passion, and here I am now chronicling the lives of the Atcherleys!

About this website


I started researching the Atcherleys in the Autumn of 2007 and since then I have accumulated lots of information about the people within the Atcherley family and how they are related to each other. I created Atcherley.org.uk in January 2011 in order to share some of that information, and to encourage others to join in so that we can find out even more.


This site is based on WordPress, a blogging platform which can also be used to create websites. It consists of a mixture of ‘posts’ and ‘pages’. The posts (of which there are now over 200) tell the stories of the Atcherley family and how some of those stories were pieced together. There are also articles on more general genealogical themes including the annual ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Live’ show (an event now consigned to history itself, sadly). I use WordPress pages (of which there are now 100) for resources including pictures of Atcherley family members, and transcripts of historical records and other sources which provide the basis for the Atcherley Family Tree.

On the subject of the Atcherley Family Tree, this is powered by TNG, The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding. The tree shows my current thinking regarding the relationships between the members of the Atcherley family, along with their female line descendants and allied families.

Just about everything that appears within this site is subject to modification as new information comes to light, so don’t take anything you see here as the last word on the subject!

Privacy and cookies

Nowadays many people are rightly concerned about privacy and the security of personal data. Although my research includes living members of the Atcherley family and their relatives, it is not my intention to include information about living people within this site. Exceptions to that rule may arise, for example articles about ‘public figures’, or where I need to credit someone by name as the contributor of a photo or of information used on the site, or if someone requests and/or gives permission for information relating to them to appear here.

Like most other websites, this one places small pieces of code called cookies on the computers of visitors, which enable me to see how (and how many) people use the site, where they come from, and so on. These cookies do not enable me to gather any personal information about site users.


If there is one person who most definitely deserves to be named as a contributor of information it is Barbara Lang, who has been researching the Atcherley family for over 30 years now and with whom I have been collaborating since the early days of my own studies. Thank you too to Malcolm White for permission to use a photo in which three members of the Atcherley family appear, one of whom – Ada Mabel Shakeshaft (née Atcherley) – features in the ‘masthead’ which appears at the top of each page of this site for most of the year.


In putting this site online I have been and will continue to be aware of copyright laws and hope that I haven’t (and won’t) infringe any. Sources and copyright owners of any information or images used on this site besides my own work will be identified wherever possible. Let me know if you spot any transgressions. As for my own photos and articles, I retain the copyright but I permit personal and educational, non-commercial use of them provided that an acknowledgement of the source is made and a link to this site given where they are used.


Finally, I can’t imagine how a website about family history could cause anyone to suffer any loss, damage or injury but in these litigious times I have to disclaim responsibility for any such events arising from anyone’s use of this website. The content of this site is provided in good faith and all efforts have been made to avoid the publication of inaccurate or misleading information, but I cannot guarantee that the material presented here is error-free. Your use of this website and its content is conditional on your acceptance of these disclaimers.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the site!