Wordswith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The history of the Wordswith family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire, at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth.
Early Origins of the Wordswith family
The surname Wordswith was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Wadsuuorde or Wadsworth. This place was recorded in the Domesday Book taken in 1086 as 'King's Land', a Moorland with two churches and scattered houses. An isolated building within the village is said to be the setting for Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'.
The village was granted by King William, to Roger de Bully, believed to be the ancestor of the Wadsworths, for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. 
Years later, records show Adam de Waddeswrth listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield in 1275. In the parish church of Silkstone, the name was recorded as Waddysworth (1556), Wardsworth (1656), Wadsworth (1666) and finally as Wordsworth (1668).  Longfellow's middle name was Wadsworth.
Early History of the Wordswith family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wordswith research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1572, 1623, 1594, 1675, 1604, 1656, 1622, 1730, 1817 and 1777 are included under the topic Early Wordswith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wordswith Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Wadsworth, Wadworth, Wadesworth, Wordsworth and others.
Early Notables of the Wordswith family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was James Wadworth (1572?-1623), English divine and Jesuit, elected scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge; William Wadsworth (1594-1675), English-born early pioneer of New England, founder of Hartford, Connecticut and the patriarch of numerous and prominent Wadsworth descendants of North America; James Wadsworth (1604-c.1656), an English man who on a sea voyage to Spain (1622) was captured by Moorish pirates and sold...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wordswith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wordswith family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Wordswith name or one of its variants: William Wadsworth, who was on record in Virginia in 1621; Christopher Wadsworth, who was on record in Plymouth, MA in 1632; William Wadsworth, his wife Sarah Talcott, their daugher Sarah and sons William and John, who were all on record in Cambridge, MA in 1632.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)