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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German

Where did the English Wolf family come from? What is the English Wolf family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wolf family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wolf family history?

The Wolf family was an integral part of Britain's Norman legacy, a legacy that began in 1066 with the Conquest of the island. Wolf was a name given to a person who bore some fancied resemblance to the wolf, either in appearance or behavior.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Wolfe, Wolf, Woolf, Woolfe, Wolff, de Wolfe and many more.

First found in Cheshire where they were descended from Hugh Lupus (Wolf,) the Earl of Chester, and chief subject of King William the Conqueror.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wolf research. Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1202 is included under the topic Early Wolf History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Wolf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Wolf family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Wolf or a variant listed above were:

Wolf Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Claes Wolf, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1658
  • Thomas Wolf settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683

Wolf Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John George Wolf settled in New England in 1709 with his wife, two sons, and two daughters
  • Hans Bernard Wolf came to Philadelphia in 1727
  • Hans Bernard Wolf, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Abraham Wolf, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728
  • Jonas Wolf came to Philadelphia in 1732

Wolf Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Wolf, aged 30, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Paul Wolf settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Frederick Wolf, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Friedrich Philipp Christian Wolf, aged 27, arrived in America in 1839
  • Christoph Wolf, aged 40, landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1841

Wolf Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Harnenn Wolf, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1905

Wolf Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Magdalena Wolf arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1742
  • Augustin Wolf, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Wolf Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Wolf, who landed in Canada in 1841


  • Max Wolf, American Olympic sliver medalist for gymnastics at the 1904 Summer Gamesw
  • Richard A. "Dick" Wolf (b. 1946), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award and Grammy Award winning producer and writer
  • Randall Christopher "Randy" Wolf (b. 1976), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher
  • Shawn White Wolf, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Montana State House of Representatives 80th District, 2010
  • Emil Wolf Ph.D., (b. 1922), American (Czech born) physicist who made advancements in physical optics and as of 2006, a Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester
  • David Alexander Wolf M.D. (b. 1956), American astronaut and a veteran of four space shuttle missions and an extended stay aboard the Mir space station. As of 2006, he has logged 158 days in space
  • Patrick Wolf (b. 1983), born Patrick Denis Apps, an English singer-songwriter
  • Andreas Wolf (b. 1982), German footballer
  • Alexander Wolf (b. 1978), German two-time bronze medalist biathlete
  • Friedrich August Wolf (1759-1824), German philologist and critic



  • Jacob, Wolf, Burnet County Pioneer by R.S. Crawford.
  • Jacob Wolf History by Merritt W. Wolfe.
  • Descendants of Leonard Wolf, Sr., and Catherine Cripe, 1755-1984 by Ardelta Delores Wolfe Baker.

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: Fides in adversis
Motto Translation: faith in adversity


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Wolf Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wolf Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 October 2015 at 11:10.

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