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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Anglo-Saxon name Wooldridge comes 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.

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Wooldridge were recorded, including Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.

First found in Staffordshire, where the Wooldridge 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wooldridge research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1633 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Wooldridge History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wooldridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Wooldridge family emigrate to North America:

Wooldridge Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Nicholas Wooldridge, who arrived in Maryland in 1651
  • Edward Wooldridge, who arrived in Maryland in 1662
  • Thomas Wooldridge, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682

Wooldridge Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael Wooldridge, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745

Wooldridge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Wooldridge, aged 56, arrived in New York in 1812
  • J R Wooldridge, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Wooldridge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William K Wooldridge arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840
  • Mary Wooldridge arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840
  • Richard Wooldridge arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840
  • Charles Wooldridge arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • Henry Wooldridge arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Simlah" in 1849


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  • William O. Wooldridge (1922-2012), United States Army soldier, the first Sergeant Major of the US Army
  • Adrian Wooldridge, American Management Editor and columnist for The Economist magazine
  • Joel Powhatan Wooldridge (b. 1979), American contract bridge player, multiple national champion and world junior champion
  • George B. Wooldridge, American business manager of the first blackface minstrel troupe, the Virginia Minstrels
  • Dean Everett Wooldridge (1913-2006), American engineer in the aerospace industry
  • Hugh Wooldridge, English theatre director, theatre and television producer and writer, son of John Wooldridge
  • Sydney William Wooldridge (1900-1963), English geographer
  • Wing Commander John De Lacy Wooldridge (1919-1958), British film composer, father of Hugh Wooldridge
  • Mike Wooldridge OBE, British world affairs correspondent for the BBC News
  • Michael Richard Lewis Wooldridge (b. 1956), Australian doctor, company director, and politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for Chisholm (1987-1998)

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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Wooldridge Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wooldridge 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 13 December 2015 at 09:37.

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