English:1. habitational name from Varley or Varleys in Devon, or any of the other places in southwestern England named in Old English as ‘fern clearing’ ( see Farley ), the change from f to v arising from voicing of f which is characteristic of that area. 2. (of Norman origin) habitational name from Verly in Aisne, Picardy, France, so named from the Gallo-Roman personal name Virilius + the locative suffix -acum, or from Vesly (La Manche); surnames of this origin are recorded in Suffolk from the 13th century. However, the overwhelming preponderence of the modern surname is in West Yorkshire.
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.