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

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

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Wakeham are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Wakeham include: Wakeman, Wakman, Wakeham, Waikham and others.

First found in Devon where they were mentioned as men of great influence in the Church and public affairs. Traditionally, the Wakeman, in the ancient Saxon village before the Norman Conquest in 1066, was a man who sounded the horn during the evening to mark the time when criminal offences took on a greater penalty. The Wakeman of Ripon, Yorkshire has blown his horn faithfully every day at 9:00pm at the four corners of the obelisk in Ripon Market since 886. This "Setting the Watch" tradition is further shown by having the horn on the Arms of Ripon and again appearing on the the Harrogate borough coat of arms.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wakeham research. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1549 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Wakeham History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wakeham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Wakeham or a variant listed above:

Wakeham Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jane Wakeham, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jean Wakeham, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

Wakeham Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Henry Wakeham, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842

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  • John Wakeham PC, DL (b. 1932), Baron Wakeham, English businessman and British Conservative Party politician, Chancellor of Brunel University
  • Peter Francis Wakeham (b. 1936), English footballer
  • Sir William Arnot Wakeham (b. 1944), British chemical engineer, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton


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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Wakeham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wakeham 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 26 October 2013 at 13:23.

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