Wooldridge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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." [1]

This name appears in the Domesday Book as Wlfric and Vlfric. [2] 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 Wooldridge family

The surname Wooldridge was first found in Shropshire. "This is a very ancient Shropshire family, descended from Sir Adam Wolryche, Knight, of Wenlock, living in the reign of Henry III., and who previously to his being knighted, was admitted to the Roll of Guild Merchants of the town of Shrewsbury in 1231, by the old Saxon name of Adam Wulfric." [3] [4]

However, 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.

"Garlinneck in [the parish of Creed, Cornwall] was for many years a seat of the Woolridges, by whom it was sold not long since to the Rev. George Moore." [5]

Early History of the Wooldridge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wooldridge research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1652, 1598, 1668, 1279, 1614, 1633, 1707, 1658, 1659, 1669, 1698, 1681, 1700, 1766, 1700, 1659 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Wooldridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wooldridge Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Wooldridge family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Wolrich or Wolryche (1598-1668), English Baronet and Royalist who "sprang from a Cheshire family which acquired the estate of Dudmaston in Shropshire in the twelfth century, and was thenceforth identified with that county. The deed of grant is said to be one of the oldest private deeds in England. It is reproduced in Eyton's 'Antiquities of Shropshire' (iii. 185). The pedigree is extant from 1279. Thomas was the third in descent from John Wolryche, who married 'the Fair Maid of Gatacre,' Mary, daughter of John Gatacre of that place, and was the son...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wooldridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wooldridge migration to the United States +

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 [6]
  • Edward Wooldridge, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [6]
  • Thomas Wooldridge, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [6]
Wooldridge Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Wooldridge, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [6]
Wooldridge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Wooldridge, aged 56, who arrived in New York in 1812 [6]
  • J R Wooldridge, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]

Australia Wooldridge migration to Australia +

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

Wooldridge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William K Wooldridge, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840 [7]
  • Mary Wooldridge, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840 [7]
  • Richard Wooldridge, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840 [7]
  • Charles Wooldridge, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [8]
  • Henry Wooldridge, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Simlah" in 1849 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wooldridge 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:

Wooldridge Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Wooldridge, (b. 1834), aged 27, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [10]
  • Miss Elizabeth Wooldridge, (b. 1836), aged 25, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [10]
  • Mr. John Wooldridge, (b. 1853), aged 24, Cornish blacksmith departing on 3rd November 1877 aboard the ship "Gainsborough" going to Westland (Westland District), New Zealand arriving in port on 28th January 1878 [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wooldridge (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • Stephen Brian Wooldridge OAM (1977-2017), Australian racing cyclist, four-time world champion
  • Tom Wooldridge (1936-2016), known as Tom Leppard, British soldier considered by the Guinness World Records to be the world's most tattooed man
  • Wing Commander John De Lacy Wooldridge (1919-1958), British film composer, father of Hugh Wooldridge
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRIGHTMAN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Brightman.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairlie.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIMLAH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Simlah.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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