Last name: Wooldridge

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century given name "Wulfric", which is composed of the elements "wulf", wolf, and "ric", power; hence, "wolf-powerful". The popularity of the name allowed it to survive the Normanising of the Poll Tax Period, when many Saxon names were lost. Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon, and Norse baptismal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water, and War, or composed of disparate elements (as in this case). In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded in a very wide range of spellings. These include Wooldridge, Woolveridge, Wollrich, Woolrych, Woolridge, Wolrich, Wolrige, Woolwright, Ullrich and Ulrik. Early recordings include Ralph Wolfrich of Surrey in 1250, Robert Wolurich of Oxfordshire in 1279, and Ralph Wolverych of Berkshire in 1318. Examples taken from early church registers include the marriage of James Wooldridge and Mary Rawlins on 26th December 1661, at St. James' Clerkenwell, and Elizabeth Wollveridge, christened at St Matthews church, Bethnall Green, London, On September 24th 1775. The coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of a silver field, charged with a black cross quarter pierced between four red crescents. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wulfric, which was dated 1212, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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