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

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

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Wadge, Watch, Wage, Wych, Wich and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Westcott. Cornwall was a land set apart, a land of mystique and quaint customs, more strongly related to Brittany and Wales than to England. It was not until the 10th century that they submitted to the Saxon rule of England. Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Wych Street was a street in London, that ran west from the church of St Clement Danes on the Strand to a point towards the southern end of Drury Lane. It was demolished by the London County Council in around 1901, as part of the redevelopment that created the Kingsway and Aldwych.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watch research. Another 157 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1384, 1393, 1384, 1385, 1386, 1390 and 1393 are included under the topic Early Watch History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Watch:

Watch Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Tho Watch, who landed in Virginia in 1650

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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Watch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Watch 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 9 October 2013 at 12:28.

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