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

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

Waight is an old Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who was a watchman. Waight is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This surname comes from the Anglo-Norman-French word waite, which means watch. Waits or Waites were British town pipers. Up until 1835, every British town and city of note had a band of Waites and more often than not, they played and instrument called the Wait-pipe.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Waight has been recorded under many different variations, including Waite, Wait, Wayte, Waits, Waight and others.

First found in Cornwall where they were Lords of the manor of Arwennick, and held a family seat from very ancient times some say well before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waight research. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1699 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Waight History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Waight family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Waight or a variant listed above:

Waight Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Ursula Waight, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • Richard Waight, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Edwd Waight, who arrived in Virginia in 1655

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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: Pro aris et focis
Motto Translation: For our altars and our home.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Waight Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Waight 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 20 June 2013 at 14:16.

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