Show ContentsWakefithay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Wakefithay comes from when the family resided at Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "Its name, in the Domesday Survey Wachefeld, is of Saxon origin. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, it formed part of the royal demesnes; and, after the Conquest, was granted by Henry I. to William, Earl Warren, with whose descendants it remained till the reign of Edward III. " [1]

However, the surname Wakefithay is occasionally derived from another settlement by the same name in Northumberland. The surname Wakefithay belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Wakefithay family

The surname Wakefithay was first found in Yorkshire where Wachefeld, being King William's land was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Lager de Wakfeld was listed in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219; Thomas de Wakfeld in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1342; and Richard Wakefeld was found in Yorkshire in 1415. [3]

One of the more interesting first mentions of the name was "Peter of Wakefield or Peter of Pontefract (died 1213), an English hermit. He prophesied that King John's crown would be passed to another by next Ascension Day, 23 May 1213. This prophecy spread throughout Britain, even to France. King John had him imprisoned and when the forecasted day came and went, had him "dragged by horses to Wareham and there hanged with his son. " [4]

Early History of the Wakefithay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wakefithay research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1375, 1665, 1537 and 1575 are included under the topic Early Wakefithay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wakefithay Spelling Variations

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. Wakefithay has been recorded under many different variations, including Wakefield, Wakefeild and others.

Early Notables of the Wakefithay family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wakefithay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wakefithay family

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 Wakefithay or a variant listed above: Thomas Wakefield settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Wakefield settled in Massachusetts with her husband in 1638; John Wakefeild settled in Virginia in 1635.

The Wakefithay Motto +

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: Arudua vinco
Motto Translation: I conquer difficulties.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook