Wadsworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wadsworth was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Wadsworth family lived in Yorkshire, at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth.

Early Origins of the Wadsworth family

The surname Wadsworth 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. [1]

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). [2] Longfellow's middle name was Wadsworth.

Early History of the Wadsworth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wadsworth 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 Wadsworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wadsworth Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Wadsworth has been recorded under many different variations, including Wadsworth, Wadworth, Wadesworth, Wordsworth and others.

Early Notables of the Wadsworth 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 man who on a sea voyage to Spain (1622) was captured by Moorish pirates and sold...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wadsworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wadsworth migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Wadsworths were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Wadsworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wadsworth, who was on record in Virginia in 1621
  • Christopher Wadsworth, who was on record in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1632
  • William Wadsworth, his wife Sarah Talcott, their daugher Sarah and sons William and John, who were all on record in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Mary Wadsworth, who settled in Boston in 1632
  • Christopher Wadsworth, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wadsworth Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Wadsworth, a bonded emigrant who settled in America in 1751
Wadsworth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Wadsworth, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Dawson Wadsworth, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832 [3]
  • Robert Wadsworth, who landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1846 [3]
  • C Wadsworth, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

Australia Wadsworth migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Wadsworth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Wadsworth, British Convict who was convicted in York, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. James Wadsworth, English boot maker who was convicted in Knutsford (Nether Knutsford), Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia, he died in 1896 [5]
  • Emma Wadsworth, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "David McIvor"

New Zealand Wadsworth migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wadsworth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Wadsworth, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Wadsworth, aged 32, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Sarah Wadsworth, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • John Wadsworth, aged 9, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • William Wadsworth, aged 7, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wadsworth (post 1700) +

  • Elijah Wadsworth (1747-1817), American captain in the American Revolutionary War and a Major General in the War of 1812
  • James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr. (1877-1952), American politician, U.S. representative and U.S. Senator from New York
  • James Jeremiah Wadsworth (1905-1984), American diplomat, Ambassador to the UN
  • James Wolcott Wadsworth (1846-1926), American politician, U.S. representative from New York
  • James S. Wadsworth (1807-1864), American politician, philanthropist, and general in the Civil War
  • James Wadsworth (1768-1844), American pioneer, land agent, philanthropist
  • Frederick Elijah Wadsworth (1786-1869), born in Litchfield, Connecticut, he became an Ohio militia officer, businessman, banker, and politician
  • Frank W. Wadsworth (1919-2012), American Shakespearean scholar, author, and sportsman
  • Decius Wadsworth (1768-1821), American Colonel in the U.S. Army before and during the War of 1812 who developed the Wadsworth cipher based on a design by Thomas Jefferson
  • Andre Wadsworth (b. 1974), former American college and professional NFL football player
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Alfred Henry Wadsworth (1923-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


Suggested Readings for the name Wadsworth +

  • 3206 "George Allen Wadsworth-Pilley to Panaca" by Helen Free VanderBeek, "The Wadsworth Family in America, 1632-1985" by Mary Jane Fry Wadsworth.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1840
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  6. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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