Woolford Coat of Arms & Family Crest

The surname of WOOLFORD was a locational name ‘of Wolford’, a parish in County Warwick, near Shipston. Local names derive from place-names, indicating where the man held land, or the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Wluuard (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1066. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 ‘at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him’. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners ‘to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors’ survey, and report culprits to the King’. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Other records of the name include a certain Robertus filius Wolford who was recorded in the year 1212 in County Surrey. And later instances include Samson Hissockes and Ane Woolford were married at St. James’s, Clerkenwell, London in 1669. Matthew Woolford and Elizabeth Clayton were married at St. George’s, Hanover Square, London in 1801. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Throughout all of Europe the wolf was one of the animals most revered in medieval times. Lycanthropy, the transformation of men into wolves, was widely believed in during the middle ages, and was often used in coat armour.

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