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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Wood family come from? What is the English Wood family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wood family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wood family history?

When the ancestors of the Wood family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Leicestershire. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English word wode, meaning wood, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a wood.


The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Wood has been recorded under many different variations, including Wood, Woods, Wode, Would, Woid, Voud, Vould and others.

First found in Leicester, where they held land in Thorpe Arnold, under the Earl of Leicester. They were descended from Ernald de Vosco, a Norman knight, who came to Britain with the Norman invasion of 1066. After losing these lands, the main branch of the family moved north to Dumfriesshire, Scotland where they held a family seat from about 1150.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wood research. Another 393 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1597, 1672, 1666, 1502, 1478, 1486, 1488, 1495, 1500, 1455, 1539, 1604, 1675, 1654, 1597, 1671, 1661, 1671, 1622, 1685, 1610 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Wood History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 281 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Wood family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 67 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Woods were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Wood Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Wood and his family who had settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Abraham Wood, who landed in Virginia in 1620
  • Richard Wood, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Patrick Wood, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • William Wood, who settled in New England in 1635

Wood Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anne Wood, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Amy Wood, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Alexander Wood, who landed in Carolina in 1707
  • Awbray Wood, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1726
  • Elizabeth Wood, who arrived in Georgia in 1735

Wood Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • David Wood, who arrived in New York in 1801
  • Isabella Wood, who landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Hartlay Wood, aged 49, arrived in Rhode Island in 1812
  • Francis Wood, aged 39, landed in New York in 1812
  • Ann Wood, aged 18, landed in West Indies in 1812

Wood Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Franklin Austin Wood, who arrived in Mississippi in 1900


  • Robert Elkington Wood (1879-1969), American soldier and businessman, best known for his leadership of Sears, Roebuck and Company
  • Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955), American physicist and inventor
  • Clement Wood (1888-1950), American writer
  • Grant Wood (1892-1942), American artist
  • Sidney Wood (1911-2009), American tennis player inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964
  • Natalie Wood (1938-1981), American actress
  • Edward David "Ed" Wood (1924-1978), American screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, and editor awarded, in 1980, a Golden Turkey Award as Worst Director of All Time
  • Elijah Jordan Wood (b. 1981), American actor best known for his high-profile role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Lana Wood (b. 1946), American actress and producer
  • Virginia "Ginny" Hill Wood (1917-2013), American environmentalist, co-founder of the Alaska Conservation Society



  • The Davis-Wood Family of Gadsden County, Florida and Their Forebears by Fenton Garnett Davis Avant.
  • Descendants of John Wood, A Mariner, Who died in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1655 by Dorothy Wood Ewers.
  • The Michael Woods-Mary Campbell Family in America by Patsy Young Woods.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tutus in undis
Motto Translation: Safe on the waves.


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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Wood Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wood Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 September 2014 at 14:36.

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