Select Walcott Miscellany

Here are some Walcott stories and accounts over the years:

Walcott Origins

The surname Walcott occurred in many early spelling forms isuch 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 generalised 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 Shropshire.

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

Christ Church
Eyare Walcott      
Constance Butcher 
St. Joseph
John Walcott
Dorothy Palsworth
St. Joseph
Thomas Walcott
Ann Hill
St. John
Thomas Walcott
Mary Adam
St. John
Richard Walcott
Abigail Combs
St. Joseph
John Walcott
Catherine McNackin
St. Joseph
Thomas Walcott
Selvina Clements
St. John
Thomas Walcott
Ann Pile
St. John
John Walcott
Mary Ann Culpepper
St. Joseph
Milward Walcott
Dorothy Baker
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 donít know.  We only heard that she might have come from Barbados, but we donít have any document. The archives in Surinam help us a lot.  But the book of Barbados immigration is almost destroyed through water damage and the archives from Barbados canít help.  So we are stuck. 

Kind regards  
Virginia (

"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 stature, was extremely successful against much larger and heavier opponents.  He 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 rounds."

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 fight me?"  Walcott issued challenges to Tom Sharkey, Gus Ruhlin, and even 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! 


Heather Walcott

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."

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