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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Woodruffe family come from? What is the English Woodruffe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Woodruffe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Woodruffe family history?

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Woodruffe is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having 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.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Woodruffe has been spelled many different ways, including Woodrow, Woderove, Woodrof, Woodrofe, Wodrow, Woodroffe, Woodruff, Woodrufe and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Bolton on Deane, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodruffe research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1574, 1551, 1768, 1679 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Woodruffe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodruffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Woodruffe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Woodruffes to arrive in North America:

Woodruffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Robert and Richard Woodruffe settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Richard Woodruffe, who landed in Virginia in 1643
  • Robt Woodruffe, who arrived in Virginia in 1647


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Woodruffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woodruffe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 January 2014 at 14:05.

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