Woolsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Woolsey family

The surname Woolsey 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. [1]

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." [2]

One of the earliest records of the family was Robert de Wolsley, vicar of Addingham in Craven, 1353. [3]

Early History of the Woolsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolsey 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 Woolsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woolsey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wolseley, Wolsley, Woolsley, Wolsey, Woolsey and many more.

Early Notables of the Woolsey 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 Woolsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Woolsey family to Ireland

Some of the Woolsey 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.

United States Woolsey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woolsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joris Woolsey, who arrived in New York in 1623 [4]
  • George Woolsey, aged 26, who landed in New York in 1647 [4]
Woolsey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Woolsey, who settled in Baltimore in 1789
Woolsey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • T D Woolsey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • Edith Woolsey, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Florence Woolsey, aged 34, who immigrated to America, in 1894
  • C. W. Woolsey, aged 54, who immigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Hopkins Woolsey, aged 71, who landed in America, in 1894
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Woolsey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frank Woolsey, aged 50, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1900
  • Eliz. Woolsey, aged 64, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Heatheole M. Woolsey, aged 20, who settled in America, in 1904
  • Greer Woolsey, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Aricene S. Woolsey, aged 60, who landed in America, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Woolsey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Woolsey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Muirson Woolsey U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the Queen's Rangers [5]

Australia Woolsey migration to Australia +

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

Woolsey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Woolsey, English convict from Swaffham, Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. James Woolsey, (b. 1843), aged 20, Irish labourer travelling from Queenstown, Ireland aboard the ship "Golden Empire" arriving in Brisbane, Australia in July 1863 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Woolsey (post 1700) +

  • Commodore Melancthon Taylor Woolsey (1782-1838), American officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812, descendant of George "Joris" Woolsey, one of the earliest settlers of New Amsterdam, eponym of the USS Woolsey (DD-77), a Wickes-class destroyer in World War I and USS Woolsey (DD-437), a Gleaves- class destroyer in World War II
  • Theodore Salisbury Woolsey Jr. (1879-1933), United States Forest Service employee, forestry researcher, professor at Yale University, son of Theodore Salisbury Woolsey
  • Theodore Salisbury Woolsey (1852-1929), American legal scholar from New Haven, Connecticut, son of Theodore Dwight Woolsey
  • Ted Woolsey, American video game translator and producer
  • Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905), American children's author who wrote under the pen name Susan Coolidge, aunt of Gamel Woolsey
  • Sally Woolsey, American silver medalist bridge player, wife of Kit Woolsey
  • Kit Woolsey (b. 1943), American bridge and backgammon expert, he and his wife Sally Woolsey were inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 2005, eponym of the Woolsey convention
  • John Munro Woolsey (1877-1945), American jurist known "for his brilliant and poignantly phrased decisions", son of William Walton Woolsey
  • William Walton Woolsey (1842-1909), American planter in Aiken, South Carolina, father of Gamel Woolsey
  • Gamel Woolsey (1897-1968), American poet, novelist and translator, daughter of William Walton Woolsey
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Woolsey Motto +

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.

Suggested Readings for the name Woolsey +

  • 4644 "Ancestry of Sarah Fowler" by Harriette Grace Lewis, "One Branch of the Woolsey Family" by Grace Woolsey Nelson.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  7. ^ The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Golden Empire (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.ozlists.com/genies/shipping/special_lists/s_golden_empire.htm

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