The history of the Watsworde family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire
, at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth.
Early Origins of the Watsworde family
The surname Watsworde was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire
at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth. This place was recorded in the Domesday Book
taken in 1086 as 'King's Land', a Moorland with two churches and scattered houses. An isolated building within the village is said to be the setting for Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'. The village was granted by King William, to Roger de Bully, believed to be the ancestor of the Wadsworths, for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Years later, records show Adam de Waddeswrth listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield in 1275. In the parish church of Silkstone, the name was recorded as Waddysworth (1556), Wardsworth (1656), Wadsworth (1666) and finally as Wordsworth (1668). Longfellow's middle name was Wadsworth.
Early History of the Watsworde family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watsworde research.Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1572, 1623, 1594, 1675, 1604, 1656, 1622, 1730, 1817 and 1777 are included under the topic Early Watsworde History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Watsworde Spelling Variations
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 Wadsworth, Wadworth, Wadesworth, Wordsworth and others.
Early Notables of the Watsworde family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was James Wadworth (1572?-1623), English divine and Jesuit, elected scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge; William Wadsworth (1594-1675), English-born early pioneer of New England
, founder of Hartford, Connecticut and the patriarch of numerous and prominent Wadsworth descendants of North America; James Wadsworth (1604-c.1656), an English... Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watsworde Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Watsworde family to the New World and Oceana
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 Watsworde or a variant listed above were: William Wadsworth, who was on record in Virginia in 1621; Christopher Wadsworth, who was on record in Plymouth, MA in 1632; William Wadsworth, his wife Sarah Talcott, their daugher Sarah and sons William and John, who were all on record in Cambridge, MA in 1632.
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