Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Watwood family, who lived in Yorkshire, at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth.
Early Origins of the Watwood family
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 Watwood family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watwood research.
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Watwood Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Wadsworth, Wadworth, Wadesworth, Wordsworth and others.
Early Notables of the Watwood 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...
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Migration of the Watwood family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Watwood or a variant listed above: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Watwood (post 1700)
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