Show ContentsWolford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wolford is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in one of the settlements called Walford in Dorset, Herefordshire, or Shropshire, or in Walford Hall in Warwickshire. [1]

"The Somerset Walford occurs as Weala-ford in a charter dated A.D. 682 while the Herefordshire place is Walforde in Domesday Book, and the Shropshire township Waleford and Waliforde in Domesday Book." [2]

Another source notes the Herefordshire and Worcestershire place names were recorded as Walorecford in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3]

As far as the etymology of the place names are concerned, one source claims the place names mean "Briton ford," [4] while another claims the place names mean "the Welshmen’s Ford [Old English Weála, genit. pl. of Weal(h, a Welshman + ford]". [2]

Early Origins of the Wolford family

The surname Wolford was first found in Warwickshire where William de Waleford listed in the Assize Rolls of 1221. Over in Gloucestershire, Henry de Walford was listed there in 1279 and in Somerset, Gilbert Walford was listed there in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. [5]

Ricardus de Walleford was listed in the Charter Rolls for Shropshire (Salop), 1316-1317. [2]

Early History of the Wolford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wolford research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1572, 1663, 1672, 1752, 1756, 1777, 1778, 1787, 1797, 1823, 1833, 1855 and 1897 are included under the topic Early Wolford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wolford 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. Wolford has been recorded under many different variations, including Walford, Wallford and others.

Early Notables of the Wolford family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Walford (1752-1833) was an English antiquary. Born on 14 September 1752, he was the only son of Thomas Walford (d. 1756) of Whitley, near Birdbrook in Essex. He was an officer in the Essex militia in 1777, and was appointed deputy lieutenant of the county in 1778. In March 1797 he was nominated captain in the provisional cavalry, and in May following...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wolford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wolford Ranking

In the United States, the name Wolford is the 2,844th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [6]


United States Wolford migration to the United States +

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 Wolford or a variant listed above:

Wolford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Wolford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anthony Wolford, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1836 [7]
  • George Wolford, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wolford (post 1700) +

  • Captain Gerald Wolford (b. 1976), Received both the Silver Star and the Purple heart during Operation Iraqi Freedom [8]
  • Eric Wolford, American college football head coach at Youngstown State University (2010-)
  • Frank Lane Wolford (1817-1895), American politician, U.S. Representative from Kentucky (1883-1887)
  • Byron "Cowboy" Wolford (1930-2003), American rodeo cowboy and professional poker player, recipient of the World Series of Poker bracelet in 1991
  • William Charles Wolford (b. 1964), former American NFL football offensive lineman who played from 1986 through 1998
  • John L. Wolford, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Robert Neil Wolford (1951-1985), American Sergeant from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA who died in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash [9]


The Wolford Motto +

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: Nosce teipsum
Motto Translation: Know thyself.


  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. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  7. 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)
  8. Gerald Wolford. (Retrieved 2017, March 28) Gerald Wolford. Retrieved from https://www.army.mil/article/1660/Staff_Sgt__s_valor_earns_him_Silver_Star
  9. American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550


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