This distinguished surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a hamlet thus called on the river Trent, north west of Rugeley in Staffordshire. Recorded as "Ulselei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Wulfsieslega" in the 1175 Pipe Rolls of that county, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Wulfsige", a compound of the elements "wulf", wolf, and "sige", victory, with "leah", wood, grove; hence, "Wulsige's grove". Wolseley Hall in that place is the family seat. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and the ancestors of this ancient family were feudal lords of Wolseley, formerly spelt "Wlselia". The family descend directly from Ralph Wlseley, Baron of the Exchequer in England in the reign of Edward 1V (1461 - 1483). Earlier examples of the surname include: Robert de Wolsleg (Staffordshire, 1285), and Robert de Wolsley, vicar of Addingham in Craven, 1353. Notable bearers of the name were Sir Charles Wolseley (1630 - 1714), member of the Council to advise the Protector, and one of Cromwell's House of Lords, 1657, and his son Robert Wolseley (1649 - 1697), a diplomatist who entered Gray's Inn in 1667, and was an envoy from William 111 to the elector of Bavaria in 1692. The family Coat of Arms is a silver shield with a red talbot passant, the Crest being a wolf's head erased proper emerging out of a gold ducal coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Wulfsieslega, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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