Wainwright History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Wainwright finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a wainwright or wagon builder. The surname Wainwright 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 Wainwright family

The surname Wainwright 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 Wainwright family

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

Wainwright Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Wainwright family name include Wainwright, Waynewright, Wainright, Wayn and others.

Early Notables of the Wainwright family (pre 1700)

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


United States Wainwright migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Wainwright surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Wainwright Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Wainwright, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1648 [3]
  • Thomas Wainwright, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1659 [3]
  • Josias Wainwright, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [3]
Wainwright Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francis Wainwright, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1712 with his servant
  • John Wainwright, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1775
Wainwright Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wainwright, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1810 [3]
  • Mary and John Wainwright, who settled in New York NY in 1821
  • C. Wainwright, who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1822 with four children
  • George Wainwright, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [3]

Australia Wainwright migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Wainwright Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Wainwright, English convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • William Wainwright a watchmaker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • Laura Wainwright, aged 2, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Wainwright, British Convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Wainwright, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wainwright 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:

Wainwright Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Wainwright, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Hannah Wainwright, aged 25, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • William Wainwright, aged 8, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • James Wainwright, aged 5, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Charles Wainwright, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wainwright (post 1700) +

  • Commander Richard Wainwright Jr. (1881-1944), American officer in the United States Navy during World War I who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the 1914 Veracruz action
  • Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright (1849-1926), American officer in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War, son of Commander Richard Wainwright
  • Commander Richard Wainwright (1817-1862), American officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, cousin of Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright
  • Louie Lee Wainwright (b. 1923), American Secretary of the Florida Division of Corrections from 1962 to 1987
  • Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright II (1821-1863), American officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War who was killed in action during the Battle of Galveston, grandfather of Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV
  • Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright I (1792-1854), English-born, American provisional Episcopal bishop in Manhattan, New York City
  • Helen E. Wainwright (1906-1965), also known as Helen Stelling, an American two-time silver medalist diver and swimmer at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics, posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1972
  • Charles Shiels Wainwright (1826-1907), American produce farmer and artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, known for his diary of the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg
  • Adam Parrish Wainwright (b. 1981), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Loudon Wainwright III (b. 1946), American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor, father of musicians Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Silas Alonzo Wainwright, American Pharmacist's Mate First Class from New York, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [8]


  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)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LLOYDS from London 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Lloyds.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1840
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  8. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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