Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name is derived from Wulfric, a Germanic personal name that became common in England after the Norman Conquest. After King William the Conqueror defeated the Saxon nobility at the Battle of Hastings, he encouraged the immigration of skilled tradesmen and administrators from the continent into England. Many of these came from the area where Germany would later become a nation. This resulted in the importation of a large number of new personal names and surnames. The personal name Wulfric means "wolf-powerful." This name appears in the Domesday Book as Wlfric and Vlfric. This name is a vernacular name, arising from the vernacular tradition of naming. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.
Early Origins of the Wooldrage family
Staffordshire, where the Wooldrage family held a seat from ancient times. The family was Lords of the manor of Leek, Aldithley, and Balterley in Staffordshire, and of Croxton and Etchells in the county of Cheshire, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Early History of the Wooldrage family
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Wooldrage 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 Wooldrage 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 Wooldrage include: Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Wooldrage family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Wooldrage family to the New World and Oceana
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 Wooldrage or a variant listed above: John and Sarah Woolrich, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; Joanne Woolrich, who arrived in Virginia in 1635; as did Timothy Woolrich in 1650.
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