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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

The earliest forms of hereditary surnames in Scotland were the patronymic surnames, which are derived from the father's given name, and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the mother's given name. Scottish patronymic names emerged as early as the mid-9th century. The patronyms were derived from a variety of given names that were of many different origins. The surname Watts is derived from from the personal name Walter, meaning strong warrior.


The frequent translations of surnames from and into Gaelic, accounts for the multitude of spelling variations found in Scottish surnames. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation, or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Watts has also been spelled Watts, Wathes, Wattys, Wath, Watt and others.

First found in Worcestershire. They held a family seat here from early times, and were descended from Simon Wathes, a soldier of fortune, who accompanied King Stephen into England in the year 1135. John Wathes was Lord of the manor of Eston in that county in 1347. His son, William Wathes, was father of Simon Wattys. Sir Richard Wattys, his son, fought under the banner of York at the Battle of Wakefield where he died leaving Thomas Wattys the manor of Whitefield in Northampton.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watts research. Another 436 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1446, 1511, 1586, 1596, 1609, 1615, 1663, and 1796 are included under the topic Early Watts History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Watts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Watts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 91 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first North American settlers with Watts name or one of its variants:

Watts Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Watts settled in Maine in 1630
  • Jonas Watts settled in Virginia in 1635
  • James Watts, aged 35, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Watts, aged 19, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Jonas Watts, aged 21, arrived in Virginia in 1635

Watts Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Watts settled in New York in 1700 from Edinburgh
  • Daniel Watts, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Experiance Watts, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Frances Watts, who landed in Georgia in 1743
  • Captain Watts settled in Boston in 1755

Watts Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Archibald Watts, aged 25, arrived in Virginia in 1812
  • Joseph Watts, aged 28, landed in New York in 1812
  • Margaret Watts, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Charles Watts, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Jane Watts, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816


  • Richard Watts Jr. (1898-1981), American theatre critic
  • Alan Wilson Watts (1915-1973), English-born American philosopher and popularizer of Buddhism
  • Heather Watts (b. 1953), American principal ballerina with New York City Ballet
  • Mary Stanbery Watts (1868-1958), American novelist from Delaware County, Ohio
  • André Watts (b. 1946), German-born, American classical pianist and professor
  • John Watts (1778-1823), American merchant captain from Virginia, eponym of the destroyer USS Watts (DD-567)
  • John Watts de Peyster Sr. (1821-1907), American author on the art of war, philanthropist, Adjutant General of the New York National Guard
  • John Watts De Peyster Jr. (1841-1873), Union Army officer during the American Civil War
  • George Frederick Watts (1817-1904), English painter and sculptor
  • Charles Robert "Charlie" Watts (b. 1941), English drummer for the Rolling Stones



  • A History of the Watts Family by George B. Watts.
  • Thomas Watts and Alexander McElwain: Their Ancestors, Descendants, and Related Families by Dorothy Claybroke Watts Brooks.
  • Watts, 1687-1975: Ancestry and Descendants of Ridley Watts by Harriett Mott Stryker-Rodda.

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: Fide et fiducia
Motto Translation: By fidelity and confidence.


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Watts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Watts 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 29 September 2014 at 22:06.

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