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About the study
This study is in the infant phases. I have cataloged hundreds of Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Wolff individuals. It seems that the surname undergoes changes even within the same family as to the spelling. I have been looking for the origins of the surname and thus far have found that the name seems to have originated in the Palatinate area of Western Europe in the 1500s. The Palatinate area is now part of Germany, however, it is an area that was overrun by the Romans, French, and Spanish in their quests for control of that area of Europe. It was the center of the 100 years war.
Specifically, the Palatinate area embraced the teaching of Martin Luther, and there was a high concentration of Protestant believers in the area. Thus began the exodus of families from that area. Initially, the Palatines moved into England and earned land grants by fighting for the British Crown. Later, England became so heavily populated that there was quite literally no more room for these foreign patriots and they remained in Holland/ the Netherlands. In 1709, the British Crown, sent William Penn to the “new world” to establish the Colony of what became Philadelphia and by extension the state of Pennsylvania. Three ships carrying more than 2500 Palatines from Rotterdam were sent along with the William Penn and the British Settlers to these colonies. Following the trail of the initial Woolfs (and there were three of them aboard these ships) as they worked through their indentured servitude and became naturalized in the Courts of New York after the Revolutionary War, and settled new territories and eventually pioneered new settlements throughout the Northwest Territory has become a compelling story of the common, everyday farmer in what has become the United States.
We can’t forget the Wolfs that also settled in England in the 1600-1700s as they also carried a similar belief system and became part of the “common” citizenry of Great Britain as well.
I am in the process of putting together stories of courage and tragedy that has been a part of the Wolf family heritage. And yes, I am proud to say that, although I am 1/8 Wolf(e), it is the story of my family. As, I put together the Wolf stories, I have the stories of the other branches of my family and 3/4 of my family are from England and came to settle in the United States as early as 1620 and as late as 1883. The other 1/4 originates from the Palatinate area of Germany and some came directly (after resettling in the Netherlands) from there to the U.S.A., while others came through England and left family members there.
I have many people sending me articles and helps as I go through my quest. I have found copies of genealogies written on some of the Wolf families and have many contacts. I am more than interested in hearing from anyone who is a ‘Wolf/Wolfe/Woolf/Woolff” currently or is through blood or marriage a part of this wonderful clan.