Wrench History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wrench came to England with the ancestors of the Wrench family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wrench family lived in Cambridgeshire, at Wrench.

Early Origins of the Wrench family

The surname Wrench was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Haddenham. Conjecturally they are descended from one of seven Freemen who held this village from the Abbot of Ely. Haddenham was included in the Domesday Book, [1] a census taken in 1086 and initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Wrench family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wrench research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wrench History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wrench Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Rench, Wrench, Renche, Wrenche and others.

Early Notables of the Wrench family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Wrench Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wrench migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wrench or a variant listed above:

Wrench Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Wrench who settled in Virginia in 1641
  • Ann Wrench, who landed in Virginia in 1641 [2]
  • Bartholomew Wrench, who arrived in Maryland in 1645 [2]
Wrench Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Wrench, aged 39, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [2]
  • Mary Wrench, aged 35, who arrived in New York, NY in 1855 [2]

Australia Wrench migration to Australia +

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

Wrench Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Wrench who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 3rd October 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Mr. John Wrench, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia [4]

West Indies Wrench 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. [5]
Wrench Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Wrench, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • William Wrench, aged 21, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [2]
  • Mr. William Wrench, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wrench (post 1700) +

  • Benjamin Wrench (1778-1843), English actor, born in London where his father occupied ‘a lucrative appointment in the exchequer,’ grandson of Sir Benjamin Wrench, M.D., of Norwich (d. 1747, aged 82) [7]
  • Sarah Wrench (1833-1848), who some claim was a witch because her grave was covered by a mortsafe deep in the English countryside
  • Nigel Wrench (b. 1960), English radio presenter
  • Sir Evelyn Wrench C.M.G., LL.D (1882-1966), British editor of the Spectator magazine in Britain (1925-1932)
  • Christopher Wrench (b. 1958), Australian organist and lecturer
  • David Wrench, Welsh pop musician
  • Charles Cleeve Wrench, Australian businessman


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  6. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 13 Feb. 2019


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