Wolsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wolsey family

The surname Wolsey was first found in Staffordshire at Wolseley, a hamlet in the hundred of Pirehill which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Ulselei. [1]

It was land held by the Bishop of Chester and was quite small having 4 villans, 2 borders with 1 plough and 3 acres of meadows. Over the centuries the hamlet has remained quite small. A census taken in the 1800s lists only 133 inhabitants.

The hamlet includes the small village of Wolseley-Bridge, and about half a mile west of the bridge stands Wolseley Hall, the family manor with a stately facade crowned with an embattled parapet. The interior is embellished with beautifully-carved oak panels that date back to the time of Charles II. The family was "the most ancient among all the very ancient families in this county" and are "said to have been resident at Wolseley even before the Norman Conquest, and it has ever since remained their seat and residence." [2]

One of the earliest records of the family was Robert de Wolsley, vicar of Addingham in Craven, 1353. [3]

Early History of the Wolsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wolsey research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1473, 1530, 1514, 1529, 1587, 1646, 1628, 1630, 1714, 1697, 1660, 1728, 1730 and 1744 are included under the topic Early Wolsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wolsey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wolseley, Wolsley, Woolsley, Wolsey, Woolsey and many more.

Early Notables of the Wolsey family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c. 1473-1530), English prelate, Archbishop of York, Primate of England (1514-1529), Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII; Sir Robert Wolseley, (c. 1587-1646), created a Baronet by Charles I in 1628; and his son, Sir Charles Wolseley, 2nd Baronet (ca.1630-1714)...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wolsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wolsey family to Ireland

Some of the Wolsey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wolsey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wolsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Wolsey, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1647 [4]
  • John Wolsey, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [4]
Wolsey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Wolsey, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [4]
Wolsey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Phil Jacob Wolsey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802 [4]
  • Phillip Wolsey, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1802

Contemporary Notables of the name Wolsey (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530), English prelate and statesman
  • Allan Wolsey Cardinall, British author, known for his book A Bibliography of the Gold Coast (2002)
  • Wolsey Wells, American politician, Postmaster at Akron, Ohio, 1826-33 [5]


The Wolsey 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: Homo homini lupus
Motto Translation: Man a wolf to man.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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