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

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

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Woodruffe is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived 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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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Woodruffe has been spelled many different ways, including 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 Woodruffe research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1574, 1551, 1768, 1679 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Woodruffe 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 Woodruffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Woodruffe 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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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Woodruffes to arrive in North America:

Woodruffe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert and Richard Woodruffe settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Richard Woodruffe, who landed in Virginia in 1643
  • Robt Woodruffe, who arrived in Virginia in 1647

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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Woodruffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woodruffe 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 January 2014 at 14:05.

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