Show ContentsWombwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wombwell was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wombwell family lived in the South Yorkshire, at Wombwell. where "the family took the local name of Wombwell from the manor in the thirteenth century." [1] While this may the case, another reference claims that the progenitor of the family was "Robert de Wombwell, temp King Stephen. [reign: 1135-1154]" [2]

Early Origins of the Wombwell family

The surname Wombwell was first found in South Yorkshire, at Wombwell, a small town near Barnsley that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Wanbuelle at that time and literally meant "spring or stream in a hollow, or from a man called Wamba," from the Old English word "wamb" or the personal name + "wella." [3] Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, this town lays claim to having the first ever recorded case of scrying (finding stolen property with the help of a crystal ball) in 1467 when William Byg was charged for heresy. The oldest ancestor of the family was "Hugh Wombwell of Wombwell, son of Henry Lowell de Wombwell, living in the reign of Edward III." [1] Wombwell Hall, near Northfleet in Kent was built by a branch of the family in 1471. It was held by the family until 1646, when the local branch of the family died out and John Forterie, a Huguenot refugee from Lille, purchased the estate.

Early History of the Wombwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wombwell research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1574 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Wombwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wombwell Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Wombwell, Womwell, Wombwall and others.

Early Notables of the Wombwell family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir Robert Wombwell of Wombwell

United States Wombwell migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Wombwell or a variant listed above:

Wombwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Wombwell, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [4]
  • Thomas Wombwell who settled in Virginia in 1648
  • Ann Wombwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wombwell (post 1700) +

  • George Wombwell (1777-1850), English menagerie exhibitor in Regency and early Victorian Britain, founder of Wombwell's Travelling Menagerie [5]
  • George Philip Frederick Wombwell (b. 1949), 7th Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York
  • Sir Philip Alfred William Wombwell (1910-1977), 6th Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York
  • Sir Henry Herbert Wombwell (1840-1926), 5th Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York
  • Sir George Orby Wombwell (1832-1913), 4th Baronet, Lord Wombwell of Wombwell, Yorkshire, High Sheriff of Yorkshire
  • Sir George Wombwell (1792-1855), 3rd Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York
  • Sir George Wombwell (1769-1846), 2nd Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York
  • Sir George Wombwell (1734-1780), 1st Baronet of Wombwell in the County of York, Chairman of the Honourable East India Company and Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
  • Richard "Dick" Wombwell (1877-1943), English footballer from Nottingham, England

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  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. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 13 Feb. 2019 on Facebook