The Wildbloods - Savoring a Sanguine Surname - Making the Best of Savagery
Nationality. Wildblood is English although most people who hear it for the first time think it is Native American. In recent decades the blood has been „tamed“ by marriage with persons of Irish, Italian, German, French and Polish extraction. Despite two black households in 19th century Louisiana and Mississippi census data, apparently no African blood has enriched our current blend. Most first names have been British and „Christian“ - John, Elizabeth, Thomas, Sarah - but there has also been a Juanita, Cinderella, Epicene and Wenonah.
Derivation and Earliest Records. Legend has it that the name denotes crime. That highway robbers were the first to be called Wildblood. The earliest Wildblood down under was hanged for murder soon after he arrived. The most ancient record of the name is from York Minster in the 13th century. Family trees that the author has seen date back to the 1669 birth of Richardus to Thomas and Ellen in Smallwood and the 1727 delivery of Thomas by Allice, thought to have been a spinster, in Penkridge. Wildblood Square in Burslem has disappeared from the maps.
Geographic Distribution. Until the mid-19th century most Wildbloods lived in Staffordshire and Shropshire, a few in surrounding counties and in London. A healthy chunk of the British Wildblood population has shifted to Yorkshire. Starting in 1649 a few Wildblood men ventured to the American colonies, but apparently died with no progeny. The first permanent settlement of Wildbloods in the New World added spice to Louisiana around 1840. The immigrants from Shropshire focused on West Feliciana Parish. Another family emigrated to Kent County, Ontario in 1864. Their descendants established a bridgehead in San Jose, California. About 1858 five brothers, apparently born in Derbyshire, settled in Trenton, New Jersey, and East Liverpool, Ohio. A family from Staffordshire moved to Trenton in 1880. A handful of English Wildbloods emigrated to Australia and New Zealand and their families remain in Oceania. Presently there are about 250 bearers of this name in the United Kingdom, 60-70 in the U.S., 4-6 households in Canada, two families in France, one each in Germany and Spain, one in Indonesia and at least one businessman in Vietnam and one teacher in Japan.
Occupations. Many of the earliest holders of the name were farmers, canal boatmen and coal miners. Potters predominated in the 19th century, particularly in Staffordshire, Trenton and East Liverpool. Numerous Wildbloods have been business owners and managers, bankers and Methodist ministers. Some of the most prominent Wildbloods of our era are educators, doctors, nurses, law enforcers, architects, a Greenpeace campaigner and a former International Petroleum Exchange head. There have been translators, travel agents and guides, servants, butchers and attorneys.
Religion. The overwhelming majority of Wildbloods are WASPs. In the Old Country most are Anglican and Methodist. The first Wildbloods in America were Episcopalians and Presbyterians. Today there are also Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics and Latter Day Saints.
Variations. Today „Wildblood“ is the near-exclusive spelling. Old documents show Whildblood, Wildeblood, Wildebloud and several others. One adult is known to have changed his name to Wildwood before his children were born. At least one woman linked her Wildblood maiden name to her husband’s with a hyphen.
Publications. Books: What Makes Switzerland Tick, by Richard; and Leading From Within, by Peter; Against the Law, by Peter Wildeblood, Joybird by Rosemary. Journal articles on pediatric nursing by Ann and quality assurance by Sue.
Fictional Characters. Wildblood’s Empire, sci-fi by Brian Stableford. Wild Blood, a werewolf genealogy (for the stout-hearted only) by Nancy Collins. Frederick Wildblood, a plagiarist fugitive to New Zealand in Maurice Shadbolt’s House of Strife. Leslie Wildblood in Roy App’s Best-Kept Gerbil Competition.
Research. Currently being conducted by John Wildblood, Alsager, Stoke on Trent, the recognized Wildblood coordinator for the Guild of One-Name Studies; by Gwen Barry in Nova Scotia on descendents of William Wildblood and Martha Fleet of Shropshire, by about-to-retire Harry Charie in Bedford (Wildblood: The Family in England in1881); by Sharlie Stubbs, an Ontario-raised Australian; and by me, Alan Wildblood, a Berliner from New Jersey. Family trees have also been compiled by Libba and Pam for Louisiana, Diane for Ohio, Peggy for California, Alice for Shropshire and Roger in Wales. Most of the church records in Staffordshire and South Cheshire have been evaluated. The resources of the New Jersey State Archives have been exhausted, and much raw census data has been processed.
Reunions. A proposed worldwide reunion at a bed & breakfast run by Cedric in Brittany in the 1999-2000 off-season was cancelled.
Last updated 31 Dec 2004 by Alan (email@example.com)