When the ancestors of the Watswithay family emigrated to England
following the Norman Conquest
in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Yorkshire
, at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth.
Early Origins of the Watswithay family
The surname Watswithay 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 Watswithay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watswithay research.Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1594, 1675, 1604, 1656, 1622, 1730, 1817 and 1777 are included under the topic Early Watswithay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Watswithay Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Watswithay have been found, including Wadsworth, Wadworth, Wadesworth, Wordsworth and others.
Early Notables of the Watswithay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was 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... Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watswithay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Watswithay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Watswithay were among those contributors: 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.