Walmsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Walmsley family

The surname Walmsley was first found in Lancashire at Bickersfatte and Houghton. " In after times the township [of Wilpshire in Lancashire] became a possession of the Walmesleys, of whom Sir Thomas Walmesley died seised of the estate in the reign of Charles I." [1] Today Walmersley is a village in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, Greater Manchester. The place name literally meant "lake by the wood." [2]

"The Walmsleys, who derived their name originally from a Lancashire township, are now very numerous in the Preston district. There was an old and distinguished family of this name at Dunken Haigh or Dunkenhalgh, Blackburn, during the 16th and 17th centuries: Sir Thomas Walmsley, of Dunkenhalgh, was a judge of the Common Pleas in the reign of Elizabeth. Walmesley, of Dunkenhalgh, was one of the intended Knights of the Royal Oak, an Order, however, the institution of which by Charles II. was never accomplished (B.). The Walmesleys of Coldcotes branched off from the Dunkenhalgh stock in the 17th century." [3]

Roger de Walmeresleghe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Lancashire in 1332 and later, John Wamesley was a Freeman of Leicestershire in 1549. [4]

Early History of the Walmsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Walmsley research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1193, 1690, 1537, 1612, 1680, 1751, 1680, 1698, 1713 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Walmsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Walmsley Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Walmsley has appeared include Walmsley, Warmsley, Walmsly, Walmesley, Wormsley, Walmsleigh, Warmsleigh, Walmsleigh, Walmesleigh, Wormsleigh, Wolmsley, Wolmsleigh, Walmslee, Walmsley, Walmslea, Warmslea, Warmslee, Walmslie, Warmslie, Walmslie, Walmeslea, Walmeslee, Walmeslie, Wormslee, Wormslie, Wormslea, Wormeslie and many more.

Early Notables of the Walmsley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Walmesely (1537-1612), English judge, eldest son of Thomas Walmesley of Showley in the township of Clayton-le-dale and of Cunliffe in the township of Rishton, Lancashire. "His reputation for learning was great, and he early evinced his independence by allowing bail in a murder case, contrary to the express injunctions of the queen...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Walmsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Walmsley Ranking

In the United States, the name Walmsley is the 11,284th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Walmsley is ranked the 972nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,157 people with that name. [6]


United States Walmsley migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Walmsley arrived in North America very early:

Walmsley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Walmsley, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [7]
  • John Walmsley who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Thomas Walmsley, his wife, two sons and four grandchildren arrived in Delaware in 1682
  • Thomas Walmsley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [7]
  • John Walmsley, who settled in Virginia in 1690
Walmsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Clara Walmsley, aged 9, who settled in America, in 1893
Walmsley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Arthur Walmsley, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1907
  • Bessie Walmsley, aged 62, who immigrated to the United States from Barrow-in-Furness, England, in 1907
  • Charles Walmsley, aged 28, who landed in America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1907
  • A. T. Walmsley, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Alice Walmsley, aged 40, who settled in America from Croydon, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Walmsley migration to Australia +

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

Walmsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Walmsley, (b. 1795), aged 26, English weaver who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Walmsley, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. James Walmsley, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. George Walmsley, (b. 1817), aged 21, English gardener who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 10 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1898 [11]

New Zealand Walmsley 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:

Walmsley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Captain Walmsley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Isabella Hamilton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [12]
  • Mrs. Walmsley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Isabella Hamilton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [12]
  • G. Walmsley, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1864
  • Miss Ellen Walmsley, (b. 1845), aged 20, English domestic servant from Louth travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [13]
  • Miss Elizabeth Walmsley, (b. 1843), aged 22, English domestic servant from Louth travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Walmsley (post 1700) +

  • William Walmsley (b. 1892), English co-founder of the Swallow Sidecar Company which later became the Jaguar car company
  • John S. Walmsley Jr. (1920-1951), American Air Force pilot, posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Thomas Semmes Walmsley (1889-1942), American politician, Mayor of New Orleans 1929 to 1936
  • Walter Newbold Walmsley Jr. (1904-1973), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, 1959-62 [14]
  • Robert Walmsley, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rockland County, 1943-60 [14]
  • Thomas Walmsley (1763-1805), English landscape-painter, was descended from a family of good position at Rochdale, Lancashire, but was born in Ireland [15]
  • Sir Joshua Walmsley (1794-1871), English politician, son of John Walmsley, builder, born at Liverpool on 29 Sept. 1794
  • John William Walmsley (1903-1970), English professional association footballer
  • Jon Walmsley (b. 1956), English actor
  • Vice Admiral Sir Robert Walmsley KCB, FREng, FRSA, FIET (b. 1941), Scottish Royal Navy officer, Chief of Defence Procurement at the UK Ministry of Defence from 1996 to 2003
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/camden
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  15. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019


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