The ancient Anglo-Saxon
surname Woollrich came 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 Woollrich family
The surname Woollrich was first found in Staffordshire
, where the Woollrich 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 Woollrich family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woollrich research.Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1633 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Woollrich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woollrich Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Woollrich family name include Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Woollrich family (pre 1700)
Another 20 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woollrich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woollrich family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Woollrich surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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.