Woollsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Woollsay family
The surname Woollsay was first found in Staffordshire at Wolseley, a hamlet in the hundred of Pirehill which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Ulselei. 
It was land held by the Bishop of Chester and was quite small having 4 villans, 2 borders with 1 plough and 3 acres of meadows. Over the centuries the hamlet has remained quite small. A census taken in the 1800s lists only 133 inhabitants.
The hamlet includes the small village of Wolseley-Bridge, and about half a mile west of the bridge stands Wolseley Hall, the family manor with a stately facade crowned with an embattled parapet. The interior is embellished with beautifully-carved oak panels that date back to the time of Charles II. The family was "the most ancient among all the very ancient families in this county" and are "said to have been resident at Wolseley even before the Norman Conquest, and it has ever since remained their seat and residence." 
One of the earliest records of the family was Robert de Wolsley, vicar of Addingham in Craven, 1353. 
Early History of the Woollsay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woollsay research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1473, 1530, 1514, 1529, 1587, 1646, 1628, 1630, 1714, 1697, 1660, 1728, 1730 and 1744 are included under the topic Early Woollsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Woollsay Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Wolseley, Wolsley, Woolsley, Wolsey, Woolsey and many more.
Early Notables of the Woollsay family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c. 1473-1530), English prelate, Archbishop of York, Primate of England (1514-1529), Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII; Sir Robert Wolseley, (c. 1587-1646), created a Baronet by Charles I in 1628; and his son, Sir Charles Wolseley, 2nd Baronet (ca.1630-1714)...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woollsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woollsay family to Ireland
Some of the Woollsay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Woollsay family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: William Woolsley settled in New York in 1823; Joseph Woollsey settled in New York in 1823; Joseph Woolsey settled in Baltimore in 1789; Phillip Wolsey arrived in Philadelphia in 1802..
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Homo homini lupus
Motto Translation: Man a wolf to man.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)