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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Woolley is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066. The Woolley family lived in Cheshire, at Woolley. "This family, anciently De Wolegh, or De Woloey, were settled in Longdendale, co Chester as early as the reign of King John." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
The surname Woolley was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat in Longdendale. Woolley is also located in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire. These place names are derived from the Old English words wulf + leah and literally means "wood or clearing frequented by wolves." Two of the places are listed in the Domesday Book as Ciluelai in Cambridgeshire and Wiluelai in West Yorkshire. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) Another branch of the family was found at Thorpe in Surrey in later years. "The manor appears to have been held under the abbots of Chertsey in the 15th century, by a family named Thorpe: after the Dissolution, Queen Elizabeth granted the lands to Sir John Wolley, her Latin secretary." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Woolley, Wooley, Wooly and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolley research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1675, 1695 and 1771 are included under the topic Early Woolley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Wolley; Hannah Woolley, (Wolley) (1622-c.1675), an English writer who published early books on household management, probably the first to earn...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woolley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Some of the Woolley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Woolley or a variant listed above:
Woolley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Woolley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Woolley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Woolley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Woolley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Woolley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woolley 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 25 February 2016 at 11:46.