Show ContentsWoolston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Woolston surname lived in one of a variety of similarly-named places. Settlements named Woolstone are in Buckinghamshire and Devon. Wolstan is a parish in Warwickshire and Woolston is a hamlet in Somerset. The surname Woolston belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Woolston family

The surname Woolston was first found in Lancashire at Woolstone, a township, in the parish and union of Warrington, hundred of West Derby. Saint Walstan (or Walston) (died 1016) dedicated his life to farming and the care of farm animals and is accordingly the patron saint of farms, farmers, farmhands, ranchers and husbandrymen.

"[Bawburgh, or Babur in Norfolk] is distinguished as the birthplace of St. Walstan; he lived at Taverham, where he died in 1016, and his remains were removed hither, and enshrined in a chapel in the parish church. The resort of pilgrims to visit his shrine greatly enriched the vicar and officiating priests, who, in 1309, rebuilt the church; but the chapel in which the remains of the saint were deposited was demolished in the reign of Henry VIII." [1]

Early History of the Woolston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woolston research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1465, 1535, 1553, 1561, 1570, 1573, 1579, 1594, 1670, 1705 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Woolston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Woolston Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Woolston are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Woolston include: Woolston, Woolton, Wolston and others.

Early Notables of the Woolston family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Thomas Woolston (1670-1733), was an English enthusiast and freethinker, born at Northampton, the fifth son of Henry Woolston (d. 1705), a currier. [2]

United States Woolston migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Woolston or a variant listed above:

Woolston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Woolston, who settled in New Castle, Delaware in 1677
  • John Woolston, who landed in New Jersey in 1677 [3]

Australia Woolston migration to Australia +

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

Woolston Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Woolston, English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Woolston (post 1700) +

  • Thomas G. Woolston, American patent attorney, founder of MercExchange
  • Bob Woolston (b. 1968), English cricketer who made one first-class appearance for Somerset during the 1987 season
  • Michael Woolston Ash (1789-1858), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 3rd District, 1835-37 [5]

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from on Facebook