Wilshaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Wilshaw come from when the family resided in Wiltshire, a county in southwestern England. The place-name was recorded as Wiltunscir in 870, and as Wiltescire in the Domesday Book, [1] compiled in 1086. The place-name means "shire centered on Wilton." Wilton is composed of the Old English elements wilig, which means willow tree, and tun, for farmstead or enclosure. The place-name Wilton means "farm where the willow trees grow." [2]

Early Origins of the Wilshaw family

The surname Wilshaw was first found in Sussex where Hunfridus de Wilechier was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1157. The same rolls listed Hunfridus de Wilecher in 1162. In Wiltshire, Nicholas de Wiltesir was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1207 and later, Robert Wylchar was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275. In Hampshire, John Wilteshire was listed in 1298 and in Kent, William Wylkeshire was listed in 1440. [3]

Despite the fact that the "surname is derived from a geographical locality and is 'from Wiltshire,'" [4] the name was widespread by the 13th century. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Michael de Wyltesire, Cambridgeshire; William de Wyltesyre, Somerset; Roger de Wilteschire, Salop (Shropshire). The Writs of Parliament includes an entry for Almaric de Wilteshire, 1313 but no county is given. [4]

Early History of the Wilshaw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilshaw research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1794, 1798, 1456, 1483, 1674, 1758 and 1534 are included under the topic Early Wilshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilshaw Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Wilshaw has been recorded under many different variations, including Wiltshire, Wiltshear, Wiltsheir and others.

Early Notables of the Wilshaw family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir John Wiltshire of Stone Castle, Kent. His daughter Bridget Wiltshire (later, Wingfield, then Hervey, then Tyrwhitt; died 1534) was a neighbour, close friend and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England. She was the wife of Sir Richard Wingfield (widower of Catherine Woodville.) Ironically, a letter written...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wilshaw family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wilshaw or a variant listed above: John Wiltshire, who arrived in Virginia in 1654; George Wiltshear settled in Maryland in 1742; a "widow" Wiltsheir arrived in Barbados 1679.


HMS Royal Oak
  • John Thomas Wilshaw (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [5]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook