The rich and ancient history of the Woolldridge family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It 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.
Early Origins of the Woolldridge family
The surname Woolldridge was first found in Staffordshire
, where the Woolldridge 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
Early History of the Woolldridge family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolldridge research.Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1633 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Woolldridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woolldridge Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Woolldridge have been found, including Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Woolldridge family (pre 1700)
Another 20 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woolldridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woolldridge family to the New World and Oceana
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England
. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England
, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Woolldridge, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : 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.