Waan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The family name Waan is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon names of Britain. It was originally a name for a person who worked as a wainwright or wagon builder. The surname Waan is derived from the Old English word wægnwyrhta, which means wainwright. [1] [2] "Wain is an old, but nearly obsolete, word for wagon. In Sussex, a shed in which wagons stand is called a wain-house or ' wen-hus,' and in some parts of England a wagoner is called a wain-man, whence the surname Wenman. Nor must we forget the constellation, Charles's Wain. A Wainwright was therefore synonymous with Cartwright and Wheelwright, also English surnames, and signified a builder of wagons." [1]

Early Origins of the Waan family

The surname Waan was first found in Worcestershire where they were Lords of the manor of Dudelei from very ancient times, and it is possible that they are interrelated with the Norman Baron William FitzAnsculf whose castle was in Dudley. One of the earliest records of the name was Alimar Wanwrecthe who was listed in Essex in 1237. Adam the Waynwrith was listed in Yorkshire in 1285 and Alan le Waynwright was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1285. [2]

Early History of the Waan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waan research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1568, 1577, 1678 and 1592 are included under the topic Early Waan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Waan Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Waan include Wainwright, Waynewright, Wainright, Wayn and others.

Early Notables of the Waan family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Waan family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Hester Wainewright who settled in Barbados in 1682; William Wainright settled in Barbados in 1654; John Wainright settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Mary and John Wainwright settled in New York N.Y. in 1821.



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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