Wiltshire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Wiltshire name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having 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 Wiltshire family

The surname Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wiltshire Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Wiltshire has undergone many spelling variations, including Wiltshire, Wiltshear, Wiltsheir and others.

Early Notables of the Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wiltshire Ranking

In the United States, the name Wiltshire is the 10,688th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]


United States Wiltshire migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Wiltshire were among those contributors:

Wiltshire Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Wiltshire, who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • Mary Wiltshire, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [6]
Wiltshire Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Wiltshire, who settled in Maryland in 1775

Australia Wiltshire migration to Australia +

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

Wiltshire Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Frederick Wiltshire, (b. 1808), aged 25, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Jacob Wiltshire, English convict who was convicted in Southampton, Hampshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emperor Alexander"on 6th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Paul Wiltshire, British convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • John Wiltshire, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wiltshire migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wiltshire Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Wiltshire, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Union" in 1843
  • James Wiltshire, aged 37, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Mr. George Wiltshire, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Black Eagle" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th November 1861 [12]
  • George Wiltshire, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861 [13]
  • Charles Wiltshire, aged 18, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wiltshire (post 1700) +

  • John H. Wiltshire (b. 1883), American Democratic Party politician, Mason; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bethlehem, 1915-16 [14]
  • Frank T. Wiltshire, American politician, Burgess of Media, Pennsylvania, 1960 [14]
  • Graham Wiltshire (1931-2017), English cricketer who played for Gloucestershire from 1953 to 1960
  • David "Dave" Wiltshire (b. 1954), English former professional association football player
  • Stephen Wiltshire MBE (b. 1974), English architectural artist
  • Maxwell Lloyd Wiltshire (1938-2021), Welsh international rugby union player who played as a lock forward for Aberavon RFC during the 1960s
  • Paul Wiltshire, Australian songwriter, record producer & mixer
  • Max Wiltshire, ex-Welsh International Rugby Player
  • Todd Wiltshire (b. 1968), Australian former motorcycle speedway rider
  • Edward Wiltshire, British Diplomat

Wiltshire family +

HMS Royal Oak
  • Frederick W. Wiltshire, British Joiner with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [15]
  • Edward George Wiltshire (d. 1939), British Petty Officer Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th April 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emperor-alexander
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Orleana.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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