Wamsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wamsley family

The surname Wamsley 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 Wamsley family

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

Wamsley Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Wamsley 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 Wamsley 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 Wamsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wamsley Ranking

In the United States, the name Wamsley is the 11,432nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]


United States Wamsley migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Wamsley or a variant listed above:

Wamsley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Wamsley, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [6]
  • Thomas Wamsley, who arrived in New Jersey in 1682 [6]
Wamsley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander Wamsley, who arrived in New York in 1789 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wamsley (post 1700) +

  • Clair A. Wamsley, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, 1933-44 [7]
  • Preston Maki Wamsley (b. 1986), American television actor
  • Gary Wamsley, American public administration specialist and professor emeritus at Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration and Policy
  • Dr John Wamsley (b. 1938), Australian environmentalist, Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year for 2003
  • Richard James Wamsley (b. 1959), retired Canadian NHL professional ice hockey goaltender
  • J. Wamsley Vandall (b. 1901), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Wirt County, 1935-36 [8]


  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. ^ 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)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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