Williscroft & Woolliscroft

Worldwide One-Name Study

Surname Origins

Map showing the location of Wooliscroft, Staffordshire, England Ordnance Survey First Series, (sheet 72), 1856

The present day surnames of Williscroft & Woolliscroft and their variants are locative in origin. They take the name from the hamlet shown as 'Wooliscroft' on 18C maps of Staffordshire. Both the surname and placename show a similar pattern of evolution. The first indication I have found that the place name was being used by clerks to identify individuals was in a feoffment dated 1311. The document refers to "Henry the son of Walter of Wilardiscroft".

This does not mean that all the bearers of this surname today have the same genetic roots but that their ancestors most likely came from the same place.

Wilardiscroft has not survived as a surname but the variant surnames Williscroft, Williscraft, Willescroft, Willinscroft, Woolliscroft, Wooliscroft and Wolliscroft can be found worldwide today.

Surname Origins

Place-name History

Surname Distribution


I have been researching the surname since the late 1980's. In those early days it took me a little while to realise that different spellings of the surname were interchangeable, not only between documents but also within. The study has grown considerably since then with the onset of the internet and digitalised records. More recently I have been researching the use of the name as a first name with some interesting results.

As part of my research into the surname origins I have also researched the surnames Werlawescrof, Werlascroft, Whatecroft & Watecroft. My findings are summarised in the “Histories” section. In brief the surnames appear to be distinct surnames in their own right.

The site is very much work in progress as I transfer data. Please come back and visit again or contact me directly if you have a query. Recently added information can be viewed at the “Whats Newpage. If you would like to include information on your own family please contact us.

DNA Project

A new venture for bearers of the surnames Williscroft, Woolliscroft and variants surname! Participating is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help with your research of your family tree. We will also discover which family trees are related. As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information on the evolution of the surname. For more information please visit the DNA website.