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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Dutch, German


The surname Deweese is a Bavarian nickname surname. German nicknames came from eke-names, or added names, and tended to describe a physical characteristic or other attribute of their initial bearer. Deweese is a name for a person who had a pale complexion or fair colored hair. The surname Deweese was derived from the German word weises, which meant white.

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The surname Deweese was first found in Bavaria, where the name gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society. Chronicles first mention Nicolaus Weiser of Iglau in Bohemia in 1378.

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Deweese include Weise, Weis, Weiser, Wise and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Deweese research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1867, 1830, 1852, 1840, 1844, 1798, 1841, 1842, 1642, 1708, 1810 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Deweese History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Deweese Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Deweese or a variant listed above:

Deweese Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Benjamin Deweese, who emigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Mrs. Rollen Deweese, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Rollen Deweese, aged 41, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Walter Lee DeWeese, aged 24, who emigrated to Ainsworth, Iowa, in 1915

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  • John Thomas Deweese (1835-1906), American Congressional Representative from North Carolina
  • Devin Deweese, American professor of Islamic and Central Eurasian Studies
  • Thomas Eugene DeWeese (1934-2012), American writer of fiction
  • H. William "Bill" DeWeese (b. 1950), American member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • James M. DeWeese, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1904
  • James B. DeWeese (d. 1978), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1956
  • Herald F. DeWeese, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 8th District, 1960
  • Hamilton G. DeWeese, American Democrat politician, Democratic Candidate for Ohio Treasurer of State, 1924, 1926 (primary)
  • Hall DeWeese, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1944
  • H. William DeWeese, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1996, 2000, 2004; Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 2000

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  • Allison, Dewees (Also Deweese), Johnson, Scruggs and Other Related Families: Old Photographs, Letters etc. by Judith Allison Walters.
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  1. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  2. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  3. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Deweese Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Deweese 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 17 November 2015 at 11:45.

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