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

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

The history of the Wilshire family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in Wiltshire, a county in southwestern England. The place-name was recorded as Wiltunscir in 870, and as Wiltescire in the Domesday Book, [1] compiled in 1086. The place-name means "shire centered on Wilton." Wilton is composed of the Old English elements wilig, which means willow tree, and tun, for farmstead or enclosure. The place-name Wilton means "farm where the willow trees grow."

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Wilshire include Wiltshire, Wiltshear, Wiltsheir and others.

First found in Bedfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilshire research. Another 257 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilshire History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Wilshire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Wilshire or a variant listed above:

Wilshire Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William Wilshire, who landed in Virginia in 1635

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Wilshire Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wilshire 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 23 September 2014 at 19:42.

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