Show ContentsWillowby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Willowby is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Willowby family lived in Lincolnshire at Willoughby.

Early Origins of the Willowby family

The surname Willowby was first found in Lincolnshire where Sir William de Willoughby was Lord of Willoughby, a Norman knight who was granted the estates by William the Conqueror. Baron Willoughby de Eresby was a title created by writ in 1313 for Robert de Willoughby.

"Thorganby Hall [in Thorganby], formerly the seat of the Willoughbys, is an ancient and handsome stone mansion, situated in well-wooded grounds commanding fine prospects." [1]

Matson in Gloucestershire played an important place in England's history. "This place, during the siege of Gloucester, became the head-quarters of Charles I.; and the ancient manorhouse, erected by Sir Ambrose Willoughby, Knt., in the reign of Elizabeth, was on that occasion occupied by the king's sons, Charles and James." [1]

Further to the south in Cornwall, an early branch of the family was found in Dorset. "The Willoughbys of Dorsetshire had formerly a seat on the barton of Carvynick or Car-vin-ike [in the parish of St. Endover]. From this family it was carried by a co-heiress to a branch of the Arundells of Lanherne. On failure of male issue in this branch, it was carried in marriage by the heiress of Zach. Arundell, to Anthony Tanner, gent. descended from the Tanners of Court and Bodenick, in St. Stephens Brannell." [2]

Early History of the Willowby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willowby research. Another 329 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1492, 1502, 1471, 1528, 1554, 1370, 1409, 1399, 1400, 1401, 1402, 1404, 1406, 1452, 1502, 1497, 1554, 1515, 1570, 1537, 1603, 1584, 1617, 1452, 1502, 1472, 1521, 1640, 1669, 1664, 1666, 1667, 1670, 1638, 1674, 1635, 1672, 1670 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Willowby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willowby Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Willowby has been recorded under many different variations, including Willoughby, Willowby and others.

Early Notables of the Willowby family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (c.1370-1409), an English Baron, joined Bolingbroke, the future King Henry IV, soon after his landing at Ravenspur, he was present at the abdication of Richard II in the Tower in 1399, and was one of the peers who consented to King Richard's imprisonment, taken part in Henry IV's expedition to Scotland (1400), admitted to the Order of the Garter (1401), among those appointed to negotiate with the Welsh rebel, Owain Glyndair (1402), he remained loyal to the King, was appointed to the King's council, among the...
Another 183 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willowby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Willowby migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Willowbys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Willowby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Catherine Willowby, who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • Kat Willowby, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [3]
  • Anne Willowby, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [3]
  • William Willowby, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [3]
Willowby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Paul Willowby, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [3]

The Willowby 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: Verite sans peur
Motto Translation: Truth without fear.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. 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) on Facebook