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

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

The ancestors of the bearers of the Woodrow family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in Yorkshire. Their name, however, derives from the woodrofe plant, a white flower whose leaves bear a sweet scent. The name indicates that the original bearer lived in an area in which the woodrofe was common.

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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 Woodrow include Woodrow, Woderove, Woodrof, Woodrofe, Wodrow, Woodroffe, Woodruff, Woodrufe and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Bolton on Deane, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodrow research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1574, 1551, 1768, 1679 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Woodrow History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodrow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Woodrow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included 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 Woodrow or a variant listed above:

Woodrow Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Cornelius Woodrow, who arrived in Maryland in 1650
  • Joseph Woodrow, who landed in Virginia in 1651

Woodrow Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Paul Woodrow, who arrived in New York, NY in 1756
  • John Woodrow, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

Woodrow Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Woodrow, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1823

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  • Joash Woodrow (1927-2006), English artist
  • Marnie Woodrow (b. 1969), Canadian writer and editor
  • Alan Donald Woodrow (b. 1952), Canadian opera singer
  • Arthur F. Woodrow (b. 1922), American author, retired entrepreneur, and inventor
  • Keith Woodrow (1927-1997), Scottish former Senior Superintendent of the Hong Kong Colonial Police Service


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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. 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.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Woodrow Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woodrow 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 14 October 2014 at 19:06.

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