Woodroff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Woodroff date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Woodroff family lived in Yorkshire. Their name, however, derives from the woodrofe plant, a white flower whose leaves bear a sweet scent. The name indicates that the original bearer lived in an area in which the woodrofe was common. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from "Woodreve, the woodman, the forester of the Midland Counties." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Woodroff family

The surname Woodroff was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Bolton on Deane, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Woodroff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodroff research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1574, 1551, 1768, 1679, 1734, 1638, 1711, 1656, 1656, 1669, 1672 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Woodroff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woodroff Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Woodroff are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Woodroff include: Woodrow, Woderove, Woodrof, Woodrofe, Wodrow, Woodroffe, Woodruff, Woodrufe and many more.

Early Notables of the Woodroff family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Robert Wodrow (1679-1734), a Scottish historian from Glasgow. He was the "second son of James Wodrow, professor of divinity in the University of Glasgow. " [3] Benjamin Woodroffe (1638-1711), was an English divine, son of the Rev. Timothy Woodroffe, born in Canditch Street, St. Mary Magdalen parish, Oxford. "He was educated at Westminster school, and was elected to Christ Church...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodroff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Woodroff family to Ireland

Some of the Woodroff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 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 Woodroff family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Woodroff or a variant listed above: John Woodruff, who arrived in Lynn, MA in 1640; Matthew Woodruff, who arrived in Hartford, CT in 1640;Robert and Richard Woodruffe settled in Virginia in 1643.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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