Wolfenden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wolfenden family

The surname Wolfenden was first found in Lancashire at Wolfenden, a district, once a hamlet, in Rossendale. Few early records of the name exist. The Wills of Chester list George Hey, of Wolfenden, forest of Rossendale in 1620 and James Wolfenden, of Rochdale in 1614. [1] "The Wolfendens or Woolfendens, who are more numerous in the West Riding [of Yorkshire], derive their name from a Lancashire township. The Wolfendens were established in Rochdale in the 16th century." [2]

Much further to the south in Cornwall, we found this interesting entry which may lead to their earliest origins in England: " 'Then' says Mr. Whitaker, 'an English family I apprehend settled upon the lands, and held them from the crown of England. This, or the successors of this, at the Conquest, I take to be the family which is called the Wolvedons before, and apparently bears an English appellation. They settled for some time I apprehend in the bottom, and fiear the church; even long enough for the present hill of Golden to take from their tongues the English denomination of Wolvedon, or Wolfhill, being covered with a wood, and haunted by Wolves. On this very hill they afterwards erected their house, and in process of time derived their denomination from it.' This ancient family of Wolvedon, or Wulvedon. of Wulvedon alias Golden, continued to retain it in their possession, from this early period mentioned above until the year 1512; at which time the last male heir died, as appears by his epitaph now in Probus church. When this event took place, the heiress of this family carried their large and ancient possessions to the Tregians of Tregyans in St. Ewe; who on this marriage removed to Golden, and made it their family seat." [3]

Early History of the Wolfenden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wolfenden research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1795, 1620 and 1792 are included under the topic Early Wolfenden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wolfenden Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wolfenden, Woolfenden, Woffenden, Woffendon, Woffinden, Woffindon, Wooffinden, Wolfeden and many more.

Early Notables of the Wolfenden family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Wolfenden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wolfenden migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wolfenden Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Hubert Wolfenden, aged 46, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1907
  • Chas. H. Wolfenden, aged 45, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1907
  • Hugh Herbert Wolfenden, aged 15, who landed in America from London, England, in 1907
  • Mabel Wolfenden, aged 22, who landed in America from London, England, in 1909
  • John William Wolfenden, aged 10, who landed in America from Oldham, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wolfenden (post 1700) +

  • Stuart Norris Wolfenden (1889-1938), American linguist who worked at the University of California, Berkeley
  • James Paine Wolfenden (1889-1949), American politician, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Stuart Wolfenden (b. 1970), English actor from Rochdale, Lancashire, known for Dead Man's Shoes (2004) and In the Name of the Father (1993)
  • Matthew Wolfenden (b. 1980), English four-time British Soap Award nominated actor, best known for his role as David Metcalfe in the British soap opera Emmerdale
  • Richard Norris Wolfenden (1854-1926), English physician and oceanographer, co-founder of the Challenger Society for Marine Science in 1903
  • Matthew "Matty" Wolfenden (b. 1987), English footballer
  • Jeremy Wolfenden (1934-1965), English foreign correspondent and spy during the Cold War, son of John Wolfenden
  • Richard Vance Wolfenden (b. 1935), English-born, Alumni Distinguished Professor of chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina
  • Mrs. Lesley Ann Wolfenden L.V.O., British Company Secretary for Business in the Community and The Prince’s Countryside Fund was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order on 17th June 2017
  • Hugh Herbert Wolfenden (1892-1968), Canadian actuary and statistician
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Dora Wolfenden, American 2nd Class passenger from Central Falls, Rhode Island, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [4]
  • Mr. John Charles Wolfenden, American 2nd Class passenger from Central Falls, Rhode Island, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [4]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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