Woodworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Woodworth is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name Woodworth comes from a forester. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old English words wode, meaning wood, and ward, meaning guardian or keeper. [1]

Another source claims the name was from 'a woodward,' a forest officer who looked after wood and vert. [2]

Early Origins of the Woodworth family

The surname Woodworth was first found in Essex where Commander Wadard [3] was granted lands by King William for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings. The first recorded scion of the family, (Falaise Roll,p 112,) Commander Wadard assembled King William's army at Saint Valery in Normandy for the invasion of England. It was he, Wadard, who advised King William of the Saxon King Harold's approach from the north at Hastings. His descendents, Henry and Simon Wadard, were still Lords of their respective Manors in Essex in 1278.

Other early listings of the name include: Sewhal le wuderward who was in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1208; Ralph de (sic) Wodeward who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire in 1230; and Robert Wodeward who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Aylward le Wodeward in Oxfordshire; and Adam le Wodewarde in Somerset. [2]

Early History of the Woodworth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woodworth research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1086, 1066, 1490, 1590, 1675, 1640, 1657, 1712, 1698 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Woodworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woodworth 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 Woodward, Woodard, Woodwards, Woodyard, Wadard and many more.

Early Notables of the Woodworth family (pre 1700)

Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woodworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woodworth Ranking

In the United States, the name Woodworth is the 3,382nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [4]

United States Woodworth migration to the United States +

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 Woodworth or a variant listed above:

Woodworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Walter Woodworth (1612-1686), who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts from Kent, England in 1630 [5]
  • Henry Woodworth, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1642 [5]
Woodworth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Woodworth, aged 64, who landed in Maine in 1812 [5]
  • T Woodworth, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • S Woodworth, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • B F Woodworth, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 [5]
  • James Woodworth, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [5]

Canada Woodworth migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woodworth Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Woodworth, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Woodworth migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Woodworth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Woodworth, British Convict who was convicted in Salford, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]

New Zealand Woodworth migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Woodworth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Woodworth, aged 23, a mason, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Mary Woodworth, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Charles Woodworth, aged 6 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872

Contemporary Notables of the name Woodworth (post 1700) +

  • Walter Woodworth (1612-1686), one of the original colonial settlers of America; he settled in the Plymouth Colony, from Kent, England in 1633, progenitor of numerous people of the surname Woodworth including William Woodworth, Samuel Woodworth, Charles W. Woodworth, Robert S. Woodworth and many more
  • William W. Woodworth (1807-1873), American Democratic Party politician, Dutchess County Judge, 1838; U.S. Representative from New York 8th District, 1845-47; Defeated, 1842; Village President of Yonkers, New York, 1857-58 [7]
  • William Woodworth, American politician, Mayor of Los Angeles, California, 1860-61 [7]
  • Thomas Bell Woodworth (b. 1841), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Huron County, 1877-78; Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1896 [7]
  • Wilbur F. Woodworth, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 10th Circuit, 1858-60 [7]
  • Thomas B. Woodworth, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 3rd District, 1950 [7]
  • Thomas B. Woodworth, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Waterford; Elected 1940 [7]
  • Selim E. Woodworth (1815-1871), American politician, Member of California State Senate, 1849-51 [7]
  • Samuel Woodworth, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oneida County, 1825 [7]
  • Samuel Woodworth, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1811-12 [7]
  • ... (Another 46 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Eric Woodworth, British Boy Telegraphist, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [8]

The Woodworth Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus semper viret
Motto Translation: Virtue is always flourishing.

Suggested Readings for the name Woodworth +

  • From the Old Colony of New Plymouth to Nebraska, 1620-1920: The History and Genealogy of the Family of Mildred Woodworth by Leopold H. Hoppe.
  • Some Descendants of Robert Porter, Farmington, Connecticut, 1640: With Female Lines by Margaret Porter Miller.
  • A Genealogy of Richard Woodworth, 1758 Ireland-1843 Ohio by Marie Monson.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asiatic
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html

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