Show ContentsWilshere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Wilshere date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Wilshere family lived 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 Wilshere family

The surname Wilshere 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 Wilshere family

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

Wilshere Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Wilshere are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Wilshere include: Wiltshire, Wiltshear, Wiltsheir and others.

Early Notables of the Wilshere family

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 Wilshere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Wilshere migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Wilshere or a variant listed above:

Wilshere Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wilshere, who landed in Virginia in 1637 5

Australia Wilshere migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Wilshere Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Wilshere, English convict who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilshere (post 1700) +

  • George William Wilshere (1808-1892), 1st Baron Bramwell, English judge

  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. 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)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook