The history of the Woolworth family in the United States can be traced Richard Wooley, or Woollery, who finally spelled his name Woolworth. While Wooldridge, also written Woolrich and Woolredge, occurs frequently in the English annals, it has not been possible to find a single example of Woolworth; this name, therefore, can be assumed to have an entirely American origin.
Family in England
Wooley, or as it was also
written, Woolly, Wolley, Whalley, Worley, etc., is a name of great antiquity.
There is a Wooley parish in the diocese of Bath and Wells, and one in the
diocese of Ely and York, and also hamlets of the name in Cornwall, in
Huntingdon, and in Chester. In the
parish of Royston, Hertfordshire, on the boundary of Cambridge, is another
townland called Wooley, or, as it was written in the early annals, Ulleg’.
It is interesting to note that the earliest appearance of the name in
English records occurs in this form. In
dated September 29 – October 20, 1208, is this entry: “Inter Walther de Ulleg’ querentum et Robertum filium
Wilhelmi et Alicia matrem suam, deforciantes” --- i.e., between Walther de
Woolley, complainant, and Robert, son of William and Alicia, his mother,
defendants --- in regard to the possession of one acre of land in said Wooley,
which the defendants acknowledged to belong to the plaintiff, who paid them for
possession, three silver marks
This is an early example of the modus vivendi employed at this period,
and even at a later date, to obtain legal proof of the sale and purchase of