De wit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

De wit is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. De wit comes from the ancient personal name Julien. The surname of Jowett was a baptismal name which means Julien. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the French "jouet" which means "play, sport, fun." English records we find both Jouet and Jowet." [2]

Another source agrees with this direction. The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Geoffry Guuit (or Guet), Normandy, 1180-95. "Matilda Joute, Richard Joyet, William Juet, Engl. c. 1272." [3]

Early Origins of the De wit family

The surname De wit was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Bredbury from early times. The lands were granted by William the Conqueror to a Norman noble by the name Jouet, from the Isle of Rhe in France. By the twelfth century they had branched to Ashton-under-Lyme in that same shire.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing: William Juet, Huntingdonshire. [4] William Jouet was listed in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1229 and the next year, Richard Jouot was listed in the same county in the Assize Rolls of 1300. In Kent, Goger Guet was found in the Assize Rolls for 1317 and later, Robert Jowet was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [1]

Early History of the De wit family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our De wit research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1643, 1720, 1693, 1694, 1701, 1675, 1631, 1639, 1639 and 1641 are included under the topic Early De wit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

De wit Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname De wit include Jowett, Jowet, Jowit, Jowitt, Jewett, Jewet, Juet, Jouet, Juett and many more.

Early Notables of the De wit family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Nehemiah Jewett (1643-1720), an American colonial politician, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1693-1694) and in 1701; during his tenure, he was responsible for compensating those damaged by the Salem witch trials. Randal or Randolph Jewett (d. 1675), was an organist and composer, is said to have received the (honorary?) degree...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early De wit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States De wit migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first De wits to arrive on North American shores:

De wit Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Gysbert DeWit, aged 50, who arrived in New York in 1644 [5]
  • Peter Janse DeWit, who landed in New Jersey in 1652 [5]
  • Gertrud Weingart DeWit, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1662 [5]
  • Jan DeWit, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1662 [5]
De wit Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John DeWit, who arrived in New Jersey in 1740 [5]

Canada De wit migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

De wit Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Garnet Dewit U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. John Dewit U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name De wit (post 1700) +

  • Dani de Wit, Dutch footballer
  • Rob de Wit (b. 1962), Dutch decathlete and bobsledder
  • Rob de Wit (b. 1963), Dutch footballer
  • Piet de Wit (b. 1946), Dutch cyclist
  • Peter de Wit (b. 1958), Dutch comics artist and cartoonist
  • Pierre de Wit (b. 1987), German footballer
  • Paul de Wit (1852-1925), Dutch editor and collector of musical instruments
  • Michaël Dudok de Wit (b. 1953), Dutch animator, film director, and illustrator
  • Lara de Wit (b. 1983), Australian pianist, violinist, and composer
  • Maarten de Wit (1883-1955), Dutch Olympic sailor
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The De wit Motto +

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: Animo et prudentia
Motto Translation: By courage and prudence.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X


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