Show ContentsWoolridge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Woolridge is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that is 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." [1]

This name appears in the Domesday Book as Wlfric and Vlfric. [2] 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 Woolridge family

The surname Woolridge was first found in Shropshire. "This is a very ancient Shropshire family, descended from Sir Adam Wolryche, Knight, of Wenlock, living in the reign of Henry III., and who previously to his being knighted, was admitted to the Roll of Guild Merchants of the town of Shrewsbury in 1231, by the old Saxon name of Adam Wulfric." [3] [4]

However, 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.

"Garlinneck in [the parish of Creed, Cornwall] was for many years a seat of the Woolridges, by whom it was sold not long since to the Rev. George Moore." [5]

Early History of the Woolridge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolridge research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1652, 1598, 1668, 1279, 1614, 1633, 1707, 1658, 1659, 1669, 1698, 1681, 1700, 1766, 1700, 1659 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Woolridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woolridge Spelling Variations

Woolridge has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Woolridge have been found, including Woolrich, Woolridge, Wolrich, Woolrych, Wolridge, Wooldridge and many more.

Early Notables of the Woolridge family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Wolrich or Wolryche (1598-1668), English Baronet and Royalist who "sprang from a Cheshire family which acquired the estate of Dudmaston in Shropshire in the twelfth century, and was thenceforth identified with that county. The deed of grant is said to be one of the oldest private deeds in England. It is reproduced in Eyton's 'Antiquities of Shropshire' (iii. 185). The pedigree is extant from 1279. Thomas was the third in descent from John Wolryche, who married 'the Fair Maid of Gatacre,' Mary, daughter of John Gatacre of that place, and was the son...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woolridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woolridge Ranking

In the United States, the name Woolridge is the 8,866th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Woolridge is ranked the 668th most popular surname with an estimated 66 people with that name. [7]

United States Woolridge migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Woolridges to arrive on North American shores:

Woolridge Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Woolridge, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630 [8]
Woolridge Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Roger Woolridge, who settled in Maryland in 1752
  • Stephen Woolridge, who settled in Maryland in 1753

Canada Woolridge migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woolridge Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Tristam Woolridge, who was living in Prince Edward Island in 1831

Australia Woolridge migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Woolridge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Woolridge, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Eliza Woolridge, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" [10]
  • Eliza Woolridge, aged 23, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [10]

West Indies Woolridge migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [11]
Woolridge Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Woolridge, who immigrated to Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Woolridge (post 1700) +

  • Orlando Vernada Woolridge (1959-2012), American professional NBA basketball player
  • James Woolridge (b. 1972), retired American soccer defender
  • Lori Bryant- Woolridge (b. 1958), Emmy Award-winning Chinese-American/African-American author
  • Renaldo "Swiperboy" Woolridge (b. 1990), American college basketball player for the University of Tennessee
  • Randolph Joseph Woolridge (1956-2009), Australian first-class cricket umpire
  • Powhaten Woolridge Maxey (1810-1876), American politician, Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, 1843-44 [12]

Suggested Readings for the name Woolridge +

  • John Woolridge, Blacksmith by Laurence B. Gardiner.
  • Josiah and Keziah Nicholas Wooldridge and Their Ancestors by Wright W. Frost.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook