England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wonwell family lived in the South Yorkshire, at Wombwell. where "the family took the local name of Wombwell from the manor in the thirteenth century." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print. While this may the case, another reference claims that the progenitor of the family was "Robert de Wombwell, temp King Stephen. [reign: 1135-1154]" CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Wonwell family
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print. 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 Wonwell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wonwell research.
Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1574 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Wonwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wonwell Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Wonwell are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Wonwell include Wombwell, Womwell, Wombwall and others.
Early Notables of the Wonwell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Wonwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wonwell family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Wonwell, or a variant listed above: Thomas Wombwell who settled in Virginia in 1648.
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