Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback, now in the Top 160--though not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.
Many boys given this English place name in the past were done so to honor the founder of Methodism, John Wesley and his influential brother Charles, who probably came from one of the various towns in England called Westley. The use of the appellation as a first name began during their lifetime, but its use has spread independent of its religious associations.
Two well known bearers of the name are retired general and one-time presidential hopeful Wesley Clark and actor Wesley Snipes. A pair of movie directors known by their nickname were born as Wesley: Wes Anderson and Wes Craven, while jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery was christened John Leslie. Many people will associated the name with John Wesley Hardin, celebrated by both Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan in song.