Wainright History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many generations and branches of the Wainright family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a wainwright or wagon builder. The surname Wainright 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 Wainright family

The surname Wainright 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 Wainright family

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

Wainright Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Wainright were recorded, including Wainwright, Waynewright, Wainright, Wayn and others.

Early Notables of the Wainright family (pre 1700)

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


United States Wainright migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Wainright family emigrate to North America:

Wainright Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wainright, who settled in Barbados in 1654
Wainright Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Wainright, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773

New Zealand Wainright migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wainright Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jane Wainright, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Wainright (post 1700) +

  • Frank Wesley Wainright (1967-2016), American NFL football tight end who played from 1990 to 2000


  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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