Wagnell & Wagnall were variant spellings used originally by Isaac Wagland b1759 Carshalton Surrey who was our great great great great grandfather. Isaac married twice and different sons chose different spellings and their descendants have the names today. The variants may well go further back but we have no evidence. There is also a variant Wagglen which is Australian and applies only (as far as we know) to descendants of Samuel Wagland and Louisa Green who married in Babcary, Somerset, England in 1848 and who emigrated shortly after their marriage.
We understand from family lore that the name is of German origin but as of yet have been unable to establish that. The same information has come down different branches of the family. In the UK we have traced the family back to Surrey and possibly before that to Hampshire. There is another branch coming from Somerset which we have now started to trace & hope to discover whether or not there is a connection between the 2 groups.
History of the name
A number of Waglands beginning with George Wagland 1757-1807 worked in Royal service. George began in 1788 and there were Waglands descended from George in the Royal Household until round about 1900. The most eminent was John George 1814-1892 who became State Coachman to Queen Victoria and is mentioned in her book ‘Leaves of a Journal’. John George was George’s grandson. His father John was gate porter at Windsor Castle and was visited by Queen Victoria as he was dying in 1870. There are several references to the Wagland family in Her Majesty’s diaries.