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

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German

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

The Wolf family was an integral part of Britain's Norman legacy, a legacy that began in 1066 with the Conquest of the island. Wolf was a name given to a person who bore some fancied resemblance to the wolf, either in appearance or behavior.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Wolfe, Wolf, Woolf, Woolfe, Wolff, de Wolfe and many more.

First found in Cheshire where they were descended from Hugh Lupus (Wolf,) the Earl of Chester, and chief subject of King William the Conqueror.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wolf research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1202 is included under the topic Early Wolf History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Wolf family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Wolf or a variant listed above were:

Wolf Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Claes Wolf, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1658
  • Thomas Wolf settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683

Wolf Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John George Wolf settled in New England in 1709 with his wife, two sons, and two daughters
  • Hans Bernard Wolf came to Philadelphia in 1727
  • Hans Bernard Wolf, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Abraham Wolf, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728
  • Jonas Wolf came to Philadelphia in 1732


Wolf Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Wolf, aged 30, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Paul Wolf settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Frederick Wolf, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Friedrich Philipp Christian Wolf, aged 27, arrived in America in 1839
  • Christoph Wolf, aged 40, landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1841


Wolf Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Harnenn Wolf, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1905

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  • David Alexander Wolf M.D. (b. 1956), American astronaut and a veteran of four space shuttle missions and an extended stay aboard the Mir space station. As of 2006, he has logged 158 days in space
  • Emil Wolf Ph.D., (b. 1922), American (Czech born) physicist who made advancements in physical optics and as of 2006, a Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester
  • Randall Christopher "Randy" Wolf (b. 1976), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher
  • Richard A. "Dick" Wolf (b. 1946), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award and Grammy Award winning producer and writer
  • Max Wolf, American Olympic sliver medalist for gymnastics at the 1904 Summer Gamesw
  • Patrick Wolf (b. 1983), born Patrick Denis Apps, an English singer-songwriter
  • Anne Wolf (b. 1967), award-winning Belgian pianist
  • Christa Wolf (b. 1929), modern novelist from the former East Germany. She received the Heinrich Mann Prize in 1963, the Georg Buchner Prize in 1980, and the Schiller Memorial Prize in 1983, as well as other national and international awards
  • Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf (1863-1932), German astronomer and a pioneer of astrophotography. He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1914 and the Bruce Medal in 1930
  • Ricardo Wolf (1887-1981), German inventor, diplomat, philanthropist and former Cuban ambassador to Israel. He was the founder of the Wolf Foundation

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  • Jacob, Wolf, Burnet County Pioneer by R.S. Crawford.
  • Jacob Wolf History by Merritt W. Wolfe.
  • Descendants of Leonard Wolf, Sr., and Catherine Cripe, 1755-1984 by Ardelta Delores Wolfe Baker.
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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: Fides in adversis
Motto Translation: faith in adversity

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  1. 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.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Wolf Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wolf 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 April 2014 at 14:21.

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