Irish Woolseys

Irish Woolseys

by Wilford Whitaker

The Myth

Some writers have ascribed an Irish background for the large WOOLSEY family in America.

At least one other writer described the WOOLSEY family as being from Wales.

Source of the Myth

"Some Families were forced to migrate to Ireland where they became known as the ‘Adventurers’ for land in Ireland. Protestant settlers ‘undertook’ to keep their faith, being granted lands previously owned by the Catholic Irish. In Ireland the family settled in county Carlaw, at Mount Wolseley. Of this branch Richard WOLSELEY of Mount Arran, brother of Sir William WOLSELEY of WOLSELEY, was created a knight in 1744.

Straightening the Record

Although there are a few WOOLSEYS in America who came from Ireland (during the 1800's), Ireland is not the home country for the WOOLSEYS who came to America in the mid-1600's. It could well be that the WOLSELEYS of Virginia came from Ireland.

What the Facts Tell Us About the Myth

Fact: Every record that refers to the origin of George Woolsey, ‘the Settler’, ‘the Immigrant’ states that he was born or was from ‘Great Yarmouth’ (by which name Yarmouth was known in those days), Norfolk, England.

If you have myths to suggest, or evidence to add supporting or further refuting a myth, please send your message to Wilford Whitaker - Editor and Chief of Woolsey Myths.


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Carolyn Woolsey Wilkerson, webmistress.