Anglo-Saxon surname Walrige came from Wulfric, a Germanic personal name that became common in England after the Norman Conquest. After King William the Conqueror defeated the Saxon nobility at the Battle of Hastings, he encouraged the immigration of skilled tradesmen and administrators from the continent into England. Many of these came from the area where Germany would later become a nation. This resulted in the importation of a large number of new personal names and surnames. The personal name Wulfric means "wolf-powerful." This name appears in the Domesday Book as Wlfric and Vlfric. This name is a vernacular name, arising from the vernacular tradition of naming. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.
Early Origins of the Walrige family
Staffordshire, where the Walrige family held a seat from ancient times. The family was Lords of the manor of Leek, Aldithley, and Balterley in Staffordshire, and of Croxton and Etchells in the county of Cheshire, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Early History of the Walrige family
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Walrige Spelling Variations
spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Walrige has been recorded under many different variations, including Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Walrige family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Walrige family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Walrige or a variant listed above: John and Sarah Woolrich, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; Joanne Woolrich, who arrived in Virginia in 1635; as did Timothy Woolrich in 1650.
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