The name Wilberforce reached England
in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Wilberforce family lived in Yorkshire
, at Wilberfosse.
Early Origins of the Wilberforce family
The surname Wilberforce was first found in Yorkshire
where they were Lords of the manor of Wilberforce, and descended from Phillip of Kyme, Lord of Wilberfosse. The parish of Wilberfoss(e) in the East Riding of Yorkshire
was home to the family. "This place, from the time of the Conquest, was the property of the Wilberforce family, from which was descended the late William Wilberforce, the distinguished philanthropist; but the ancient family mansion and the estates were sold in 1710, and the lands are now divided among several proprietors, of whom Col. Wyndham is lord of the manor." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Wilberforce family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilberforce research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1797 and 1833 are included under the topic Early Wilberforce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wilberforce Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Wilberforce family name include Wilberforce, Wilberfoss, Wilberfosse and many more.
Early Notables of the Wilberforce family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Wilberforce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wilberforce family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Wilberforce family to immigrate North America: William Wilberforce settled in Virginia in 1730.
Contemporary Notables of the name Wilberforce (post 1700)
- Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873), English prelate
- Robert Isaac Wilberforce (1802-1857), English clergyman and writer
- William Wilberforce (1759-1833), British politician, philanthropist, and abolitionist, leader of the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade
- Richard Orme Wilberforce (1907-2003), Baron Wilberforce, better known as Lord Wilberforce, was a Law Lord in the House of Lords from 1964 to 1982
- George Wilberforce Soulé (1849-1922), American businessman, founder of Soulé Steam Feed Works, descendant of another George Soule, the Mayflower servant and settler
- James Wilberforce Longley (1849-1922), Canadian journalist, lawyer, politician, and judge
- Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves (1867-1920), British Olympic bronze medalist tennis player
The Wilberforce Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Nos non nobis
Motto Translation: We not for ourselves.