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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Waight is an old Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who was a watchman. Waight is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This surname comes from the Anglo-Norman-French word waite, which means watch. Waits or Waites were British town pipers. Up until 1835, every British town and city of note had a band of Waites and more often than not, they played and instrument called the Wait-pipe.


The surname Waight was first found in Cornwall where they were Lords of the manor of Arwennick, and held a family seat from very ancient times some say well before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Waight has been recorded under many different variations, including Waite, Wait, Wayte, Waits, Waight and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waight research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1699 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Waight History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Waight family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Waight or a variant listed above:

Waight Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ursula Waight, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • Richard Waight, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Edward Waight, who arrived in Virginia in 1655

Waight Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Francis Waight, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

  • Colonel Dennis Edward Francis Waight (1895-1984), British army professional infantryman and flying ace credited with 12 aerial victories

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: Pro aris et focis
Motto Translation: For our altars and our home.


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    Other References

    1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    11. ...

    The Waight Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Waight 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 7 December 2014 at 07:56.

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