Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Woollrych was formed. The name was derived 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 Woollrych family
Staffordshire, where the Woollrych 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.
Early History of the Woollrych family
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Woollrych Spelling Variations
hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Woollrych include Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Woollrych family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Woollrych family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Woollrych were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.
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