meaning and origins
The origins seem to be a bit confused - French, Irish - take your pick, but it also seems to have been used as a nickname - somebody fierce like a wolf I suppose. Or it could have been somebody who hunted wolves. To do with wolves anyway.
Woolf, Woolfe, Wolf, Woulf, Woof, Le Wolf
distribution in England and Wales
In 1891 they were scattered a bit but the biggest concentrations seem to have been near the sea - lancashire, hampshire and sussex and also kent.
In and around Portsmouth
The pretty impressive line-up of names at the top of the page is mostly due to the research done by my late uncle, and I confess I have not yet got around to checking it all out. So far I have only investigated back as far as the first (or last) Thomas Wolfe - who was quite a man, with his son William Harfield Wolfe being a bit of a mystery.
The other thing that is remarkable about this line is that it doesn’t begin with a woman. This is because we are not entirely sure whether William Harfield Wolfe is the father of Annie Tier or not. If he is then she is really Annie Wolfe and therefore the 'first' in the line, but until I find out more I cannot say this is so with any certainty. The family are definitely ancestors however, via a woman, Mary Ellen Wolfe, William Harfield’s sister. It’s complicated and incestuous - perhaps.
I think they were mostly seafarers but I really haven’t done enough research to say whether this is a long line of sailors, or just occasional ones. I should find out more.