Walcott Surname Meaning, History & Origin
many in England. Their spellings and root meanings will differ in
different parts of the country.
Norfolk, and Walcote in Leicestershire and Warwickshire were all names
to be found in the Domesday Book; while Walcot in Shropshire appeared
as a place-name in the 12th century and Wolcot in Devon in the 13th.
- Wolcott Family. Wolcott family
Some early Walcotts did not last. The de Walcott family of
Norfolk, based on the place-name there, seems to have died out in the
Walcots of Shropshire, on the other hand, did survive into more
modern times. John Walcot of this family had been knighted on the
field of battle in France in 1380 and a later John was said – perhaps a
tall story this – to have been granted a coat of arms by beating Henry
V in a game of chess.
The Walcot’s Elizabethan home, Walcot Hall in
Shropshire, still stands; and the family history has been
recorded in the Rev. John Burton’s 1930 book, The History of the Family of
Walcotts were also to be found by the 1500’s:
- in Somerset (the village of Tolland) – where the family held the
- in Lincolnshire (the village of Walcot) – Humphrey Walcot from
here was the
Lincoln MP in the 1650’s.
- and in Buckinghamshire (the village of Shalstone) – Walcotts from
this family were later to be found in London and in Barbados.
Other Walcotts were to be found iby the 18th century in and around the
naval town of Portsmouth on the south coast. Louisa Walcot ran
the London Tavern in Portsmouth where the expression “to take the
king’s shilling” is said to have originated.
The Walcott numbers in England are not large today. The odds may
be that a Walcott is more likely to be of Caribbean immigrant origin,
such as Theo Walcott, the Arsenal and England footballer.
America. The Wolcott Society has covered early immigrants
to America in their book, Wolcott
Immigrants and Their Early Descendants.
Three early Walcott arrivals were recorded in New England:
- Henry Wolcott from Tolland
in Somerset, who came with his family in 1630 and settled in Windsor,
Connecticut. Descendants were to be found in New York, Michigan,
and later in California. It is estimated that Henry’s descendants
make up 70% of all Wolcotts in America.
- John Wolcott, a relation of Henry above, who arrived in
1634. His descendants settled in Newbury and Brookfield,
Massachusetts. John Woolcot was abducted from Brookfield
in 1708. Some Wolcott descendants here ended up in Pennsylvania.
- and William Walcott, who arrived in 1640 and made his home in
Massachusetts. His family later got embroiled in the Salem
witchcraft trials, the young Mary Walcott being one of the chief
accusers. The line led later to Charles Folsom Walcott, a
Brigadier General in the Civil War, and Henry Pickering Walcott, acting
President of Harvard University in 1901.
In addition, John Wolcott, a surgeon, came to Maryland in 1649 and
Samuel Walcott, an indentured servant, to New Jersey in 1660.
Caribbean. The forebear
of the Barbados Walcotts was Eyare Walcott who came to Barbados from
London in 1659. These Walcotts became merchants and planters
there. Their numbers grew in the following century as the early marriage
records in Barbados would indicate. The family ran a
cotton plantation. the Todd estates, at Old Asylum wall.
Walcott name also evolved from the slaves there and from this source
has grown even more in numbers, Walcott as a consequence being now one
the most common surnames in Barbados.
Charles Walcott from the planter family had built his estate in the
late 1800’s near Choiseul and married a local woman. Their
grandson was Derek
Walcott, the acclaimed Trinidad
poet and playwright who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in
He was not the only accomplished or distinguished Walcott that would be
coming from Barbados. Other notable Walcotts have been:
Walcott, the world welterweight boxing champion
- Frank Walcott, the respected Barbados trade union leader
- and Clyde Walcott, the Barbados and West Indian cricketer of the
Many Walcotts from Barbados have subsequently emigrated to various
different parts of the world. There are Walcott outposts in
Canada – in
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and in Abbotsford, British Columbia
– and many Walcotts as well in England and America:
- Ernest and
Walcott, for instance, left Barbados for New York in 1906.
- while Jack
and Edna Walcott did raise fifteen children in Barbados during the
1920’s and 1930’s. But a number of them or the grandchildren
departed the island in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
New Zealand. One line
from Barbados has stretched to New Zealand. John Alexander
Walcott, an army surgeon, had been born in Barbados. His son
James Alexander immigrated first to Australia and then to New Zealand
and is the forebear of most of the Walcotts in New Zealand today.
Walcott Origins. The surname Walcott occurred in many early spelling forms such as Walcot, Walcott,
Wolcott, Woolcot and Woollacot. In each case the name is
locational and is either from the west country – originating from such
places as Woolcot near Dulverton in Somerset or possibly Woolcott near
Bristol – or from the various places called Walcot or Walcott which are
to be found in several counties including those as far apart as
Lincolnshire and Wiltshire.
The place names have the generalized meaning of ‘the cottage of the
Wealisc,” a reference to the Old English who had been dispossessed of
their lands by the invading Anglo-Saxons of the 7th century. More
specific meanings in some known cases are ‘the cottage by the well’
from the Middle English wul
which later transposed to wool
or “Wulfrige’s cottage,” the latter being a personal name of some
popularity in olden times.
Walcot Hall in Shropshire. Walcot as a place-name here is thought to be Saxon in origin, derived from wald, a
forest, and cote, a dwelling
place. This aptly describes the property which is surrounded by a vast amphitheater of hills and is set on the edge of the Clun forest in
In the 12th century the Walcot estate was acquired by the
Walcot family from which they took their name. Walcot Hall itself dates
back to Tudor times, the original Elizabethan facade being
gabled. The property remained in their hands until 1763 when the
estate was sold to Lord Clive of India. Charles Walcot was
apparently persuaded into this sale by his extravagant uncle, Sir
Francis Dashwood of Hellfire Club fame.
To Take the King’s Shilling. Louisa Walcot ran the London Tavern in Portsmouth where
the expression “to take the King’s shilling” may have originated.
She is said to have dropped a shilling into the drink of an unwary
customer. When he drank he had thus taken the King’s shilling and
was enlisted into the Royal Navy.
John Woolcot and His Indian Adventures. In his The History of East
Brookfield, Massachusetts 1686-1970, Louis E. Roy wrote:
“Early on the morning of October 13, 1708 John Woolcot, a
lad of 12 to 14 years, was riding in search of the cows when the
Indians fired at him, killed his horse, and took him prisoner. He
was carried to Canada where he remained for six or seven years, during
which time, by conversing wholly with the Indians, he not only entirely
lost his native language but became so naturalized to the savages as to
be unwilling for a while to return to his native country.”
He lived with the Indians, it seems, until 1718 when he
returned to Brookfield and was given a grant of land. The Rev.
Nathan Fiske, pastor of the Third Church at Brookfield and writing in
1775, took up the story:
“Some years afterwards, in March 1728 in a time of peace,
Woolcot and another man had been hunting and, coming down the
Connecticut river with a freight of skins and fur, they were hailed by
some Indians; but, not being willing to go to them, they steered for
another shore. The Indians landed at a little distance from them,
several shots were exchanged, and at length Woolcot was killed.”
However, this may not have been the truth. Woolcot
is believed instead to have deserted his family and to have returned to
live among the Indians at Wilcott island on the Connecticut river.
Early Walcott Marriages in Barbados
|1735||St. Joseph||John Walcott||Dorothy Palsworth|
|1736||St. Joseph||Thomas Walcott||Ann Hill|
|1742||St. John||Thomas Walcott||Mary Adam|
|1743||St. John||Richard Walcott||Abigail Combs|
|1761||St. Joseph||John Walcott||Catherine McNackin|
|1765||St. Joseph||Thomas Walcott||Selvina Clements|
|1766||St. John||Thomas Walcott||Ann Pile|
|1771||St. John||John Walcott||Mary Ann Culpepper|
|1788||St. Joseph||Milward Walcott||Dorothy Baker|
|1789||St. John||Edward Walcott||Susannah Melvin|
Reader Feedback – Emily Walcott in Surinam. My great grandmother Emily Walcott was baptized in
1868, having been born between 1864 and 1865. She went
to Surinam, but which year and from where we don’t
know. We only heard that she might have
come from Barbados, but we don’t have any document. The archives in
help us a lot. But the book of Barbados
immigration is almost destroyed through water damage and the
from Barbados can’t help. So we are
Kind regards, Virginia (email@example.com)
“The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall.” It was Joe Walcott, the Barbados Demon, the welterweight champion of
the world from 1901 to 1904, who coined the phrase “the bigger
they come the harder they fall.” Walcott, despite his short
was extremely successful against much larger and heavier
had fantastic stamina and durability as well as a proven punch. A
natural welterweight, he was one of the greatest “pound for pound”
fighters in boxing history and fought men weighing from lightweight to
heavyweight during his career.
Walcott was widely recognized as the best welterweight in the world
before he won the title. This was what The Police Gazette said in its
January 11, 1902 issue:
“From a technical standpoint three or
four fighters have been recognized as welterweight champion, but it is
apparent to men who have knowledge of prize ring affairs that they only
held that title on sufferance because of an obvious desire to avoid
meeting with a black man who was conceded to be their superior.”
Walcott won the championship on a fifth round stoppage of
Rube Farm in Toronto. The
Gazette reported that Walcott “turned Fern into jelly in five
Such was Walcott’s reputation as a fierce puncher that he claimed in
newspaper reports: “Since no welterweight or middleweight will fight me
I am compelled to go to the next class. Will any heavyweights
me?” Walcott issued challenges to Tom Sharkey, Gus Ruhlin, and
champion Jim Jeffries, but they all declined to meet him in the ring.
Joe Walcott was in fact born in British Guyana and got the Barbados
billing after becoming a professional boxer in America.
Reader Feedback – Derek Walcott. I’d like to introduce myself as (noble laureate) Derek Walcott’s niece – 2nd
daughter to his twin brother – Roderick Walcott. I’m requesting a correction to be made to reflect that Derek Walcott was born in Carries St. Lucia in 1930, along with his twin brother Roderick Walcott! They
were not born in Trinidad!
Regards, Heather Walcott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elaine Walcott from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The Atlantic School Of Theology (AST) made history
in 2002 when Elaine Walcott became the first indigenous black to graduate with a Masters of Divinity from the school. Elaine was the wife of Joseph Walcott from Glace Bay and the mother of their two
sons, Preston and Christopher.
Elaine was quoted as saying: “AST has just granted my entire indigenous
African Nova Scotian community a M. Div. Praise God.”
Select Walcott Names
- Joe Walcott, known as the Barbados Demon, was the world welterweight
champion in the early 1900’s.
- Jersey Joe Walcott, born Arnold
Cream, was a boxer from New Jersey who held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952.
- Clyde Walcott was a leading cricketer for Barbados and the West Indies in the 1950’s.
- Derek Walcott is the Caribbean poet and playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
Select Walcott Numbers Today
- 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 4,000 in America (most numerous
in New York).
- 4,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Barbados).
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