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

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

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Wemyss, Weems, Wemys, Wemes and others.

First found in Fife, where they held a family seat from very ancient times as Lords of the Castle of Wemyss, so named from the Gaelic word Uamch (a cave) derived from the lands and cliffs in which caves abound on the seashore.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wemyss research. Another 375 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1251, 1286, 1484, 1605, 1608, 1609, 1617, 1596, 1617, 1669, 1625, 1672, 1579, 1636, 1608, 1649, 1610, 1679, 1659, 1705, 1678, 1720, 1657 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Wemyss History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 189 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wemyss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Wemyss family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 53 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wemyss Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Wemyss, who landed in America in 1784

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  • Kathy Wemyss, Australian musician
  • Jean Margaret Wemyss (1926-1987), original name of Margaret Laurence, the Canadian novelist
  • David Wemyss (1721-1787), 6th Earl of Wemyss


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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: Je pense
Motto Translation: I Think.

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  1. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  6. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  7. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Wemyss Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wemyss 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 September 2013 at 17:47.

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