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

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

Willoughby is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Willoughby family lived in Lincolnshire at Willoughby.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Willoughby, Willowby and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where Sir William de Willoughby was Lord of Willoughby, a Norman knight who was granted the estates by William the Conqueror. Baron Willoughby de Eresby was a title created by writ in 1313 for Robert de Willoughby.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willoughby research. Another 143 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1492, 1370, 1409, 1399, 1400, 1401, 1402, 1404, 1406, 1452, 1502, 1497, 1554, 1515, 1570, 1537, 1603, 1584, 1617, 1452, 1502, 1472, 1521, 1640, 1669, 1664, 1666, 1667, 1670, 1638, 1674, 1635, 1672, 1670 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Willoughby History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 523 words(37 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willoughby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Willoughby name or one of its variants:

Willoughby Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Willoughby, who arrived in Norfolk, Virginia aboard the Prosperous in 1610
  • Francis Willoughby arrived in Charlestown Massachusetts in 1631
  • Peter Willoughby, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Willoughby, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1639
  • John Willoughby, who arrived in Virginia in 1653

Willoughby Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • James Willoughby arrived in Georgia in 1733 with his wife and two sons and two daughters

Willoughby Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel A Willoughby, who arrived in New York in 1824


  • Major General Charles A. Willoughby (1892-1972), American military officer who served as General Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence
  • Lillian Willoughby (1916-2009), American founder of Take Back the Night
  • Westel W. Willoughby (1867-1945), American political theorist, twin brother of William F. Willoughby
  • William F. Willoughby (1867-1960), American academic
  • William Wesley "Bill" Willoughby (b. 1957), American retired professional NBA basketball player
  • Kim Marie Willoughby (b. 1980), American Olympic volleyball player
  • Holly Willoughby (b. 1981), English television presenter, BAFTA winner (2006)
  • Charl Willoughby (b. 1974), South African cricketer


  • The Willoughbys of Connecticut by Miranda Goodrie Willoughby.
  • The Willoughby Family of New England by Isaac J. Greenwood.

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: Verite sans peur
Motto Translation: Truth without fear.


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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Willoughby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Willoughby 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 19 October 2014 at 18:41.

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