Woolls History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Woolls family

The surname Woolls was first found in Sussex where John de Woole was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296. In 1327, a later Subsidy Rolls included Henry atte Wolle. Again in 1327, but this time in Somerset, the Subsidy Rolls there listed Thomas atte Wulle. [1]

"About Langport, co. Somerset, are persons of the labouring class who are commonly called Wooll, but they say that their real old name is Attwooll, probably a corruption of At-Wold. [2] We very much agree with this theory as the name was not an occupational name, but a local name which we shall soon discover.

In Surrey, Alan atte Wulle was registered there in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. Interestingly, the name is not related to "wool" but means "dweller by the stream." [1]

"In the south-west, particularly in Dorset, Old English wielle, became Middle English wull, woll, instead of well, and this survives in Wool and in Wool Bridge in East Stoke which gave rise to a surname Wullebrigg in 1244. The same development has been noted in Somerset, West Sussex and West Surrey." [1]

Exploring early Dorset records, we found a parish named Wool, in the union of Wareham and Purbeck, liberty of Bindon, Wareham division, 6 miles (W. by S.) from Wareham. [3] [4]

"The church is an ancient structure, partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, with a massive tower; the pulpit hangings, though much decayed, are embellished with representations of the Twelve Apostles, worked in embroidery with gold and silver thread enriched with beads." [5]

Dating back to at least the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was recorded as Welle, [6] it literally meant "place at the spring or springs," from the Old English word "wiella." [7]

Early History of the Woolls family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolls research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1767, 1833, 1767, 1796, 1796, 1799, 1807, 1828, 1833 and 1813 are included under the topic Early Woolls History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woolls Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wooll, Woll, Wool, Woolls, Wooles, Woolles, Wooler, Woolman and many more.

Early Notables of the Woolls family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Wooll (1767-1833), English schoolmaster, the son of John Wooll of Winchester, gentleman, baptised at St. Thomas, Winchester, on 18 May 1767. "Wooll was instituted in 1796 to the living of Wynslade, Hampshire, but exchanged it for the rectory of Blackford, Somerset, the value of the latter benefice being within the maximum amount of preferment held to be tenable with a fellowship (information from Dr. Sewell of New College; Gent. Mag. 1796, ii. 973). In 1799 he was appointed to the head-mastership of Midhurst free grammar school, and raised the school to great efficiency. From...
Another 124 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woolls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Woolls migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woolls Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Woolls was granted land in Virginia in 1695
  • William Woolls, who landed in Virginia in 1695 [8]
Woolls Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Woolls, who settled in America as an emigrant in bondage in 1768

Contemporary Notables of the name Woolls (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Woolls (1729-1799), English-born, American actor and singer from Bath, England, member of the American and Old American Company
  • William Woolls (1814-1893), English-born, Australian botanist, clergyman and schoolmaster from Winchester, England; he emigrated to Australia, landing in Sydney on 16 April 1832


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  7. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  8. ^ 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)


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