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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English-Alt, English, Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish White family come from? What is the Irish White family crest and coat of arms? When did the White family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the White family history?

The distinguished surname White came from England to Ireland in several different waves, beginning with the Anglo- Norman invasion of the 12th century. As an Irish name, this name has been used as a translation of various Gaelic names incorporating the Gaelic word, "bán," which means "white."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Whyte, Wight, Whight, White, MacWhite, MacFaoitigh and many more.

First found in Ireland after the Anglo- Norman invasion of the 12th century, when Walter Whyte is known to have come to Ireland with 'Strongbow'. The earliest bearers of this name settled mostly in counties Down and Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where their names became MacWhite, MacFaoitigh, de Faoite and the like.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our White research. Another 260 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1213, 1414, 1572, 1575, 1584, 1648, 1738, 1820, 1835, 1863, and 1893 are included under the topic Early White History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early White Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

White Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William White and his wife Susannah, who immigrated to Plymouth in 1620 with their sons Resolve and Peregrine (the latter born in Cape Cod Harbour on board the Mayflower in 1620, thus becoming the first child of English descent born in New England)
  • Anthony White, aged 27, arrived in New England in 1634
  • William White, who came to Virginia in 1635
  • Charles White, aged 18, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Ellin White, aged 26, arrived in Virginia in 1635

White Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • George White, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Abigail White, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Adam White, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Dennis White, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Ellinor White, who landed in Barbados in 1738

White Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alice White, aged 50, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Catherine White, aged 22, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Eleanor White, aged 18, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Donald White, who arrived in North Carolina in 1811
  • Archibald White, aged 36, landed in Maine in 1812


  • Jaleel White (b. 1976), American television actor best known for his role as Steven Urkel on the show "Family Matters"
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Higgins White II (1930-1967), American astronaut killed in the Apollo 1 capsule when it caught fire during practice
  • Rod White (b. 1977), American archer who co-won a Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games
  • Canvass White (1790-1834), American civil engineer
  • Elwyn Brooks "E.B." White (1899-1985), American essayist/children's novelist awarded a special citation in 1978 by the Pulitzer Prize board and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Leslie Alvin White (1900-1975), American cultural anthropologist
  • Minor White (1908-1976), American photographer and editor
  • Paul Dudley White (1886-1973), American cardiologist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Pearl Fay White (1892-1938), American cinema actress
  • Richard Grant White (1821-1885), American Shakespearean scholar



  • The Ancestors of Daniel White, 1777-1836 and His Wife, Sarah Ford by Paula Porter Griffin.
  • Ancestral Chronological Record of the William White Family, from 1607-8 to 1895 By Thomas and Samuel Whit.
  • Family Ties of Roy Harold Murray: Ancestors and Descendants of the Murray, White, Waybright Families by Miriam Adams Cloud Murray.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Echel agus coruic
Motto Translation: The axle and coryg.


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  1. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The White Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The White Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2014 at 11:51.

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