Woodlief is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Woodlief family lived in Devon
, at Woodleigh.
Early Origins of the Woodlief family
The surname Woodlief was first found in Devon
, where the family held a seat at Woodleigh, after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They were conjecturally descended from Robet de Aumaly, who held the fishery of Woodleigh which included 15 cattle and 100 sheep. It is situated above Kingsbridge estuary. Robert was descended from the Counts of Aumaly, one of the largest land holding barons in Normandy.
Early History of the Woodlief family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodlief research.Another 144 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodlief History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woodlief Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Woodley, Woodleigh, Woodlief and others.
Early Notables of the Woodlief family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Woodlief Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woodlief family to Ireland
Some of the Woodlief family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woodlief family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Woodlief or a variant listed above: Thomas Woodley who settled in Barbados in 1663; Benjamin and William Woodley arrived in New England
in 1772; William Woodly arrived in Virginia in 1662..
Contemporary Notables of the name Woodlief (post 1700)
- Jennifer Woodlief, American author of investigative journalism, extreme sports and history, former reporter for Sports Illustrated