Show ContentsWareham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wareham is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the settlement of Wareham in Dorset or in either of the places called Warham in Herefordshire or Norfolk. The surname Wareham 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 Wareham family

The surname Wareham was first found in Dorset where they were Lords of the manor of Wareham. Today Wareham (Wareham Town) is a town and civil parish, in Dorset situated on the River Frome eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole. The older streets of the town date back to Roman times. Town walls and ancient earth ramparts still surround the town which were built by Alfred the Great in the 9th century.

Historically, the town was a Saxon royal burial place, notably that of King Beorhtric (c. 800) and Edward the Martyr (c. 978). Like many other towns of Dorset, fishing was an important way of life that led many to the New World in search of better fishing grounds.

Wareham Priory was a priory in Dorset, and may have dated back to the Saxons in 672. The site is now home to the Priory Hotel. "The ancient mansion of Dinton Hall [in Dinton, Buckinghamshire] was probably erected by William de Wareham, Archbishop of Canterbury, his name, and his arms quartered with those of the see of Canterbury, frequently occurring in the old painted-glass windows." [1]

One of the first on record was Ranulf of Wareham (died 1222), also known Ranulph de Wareham or Ralph Wareham, the medieval Bishop of Chichester (1217-1222.) He was a monk of Norwich Cathedral before becoming prior. It is generally believed that he came from Dorset. In 1829, his bones were found in Chichester Cathedral.

Early History of the Wareham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wareham research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1222, 1450, 1532, 1502, 1504, 1532, 1655, 1450, 1532, 1503, 1532, 1502, 1506, 1509, 1480, 1557, 1505 and 1532 are included under the topic Early Wareham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wareham 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 Wareham were recorded, including Warham, Wareham and others.

Early Notables of the Wareham family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Warham (c.1450-1532), Archbishop of Canterbury (1503-1532.) Born in Malshanger, Hampshire, he was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He rose to become Bishop of London in 1502 and later Chancellor of Oxford University in 1506. He married...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wareham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wareham Ranking

In the United States, the name Wareham is the 13,885th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Wareham family to Ireland

Some of the Wareham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Wareham 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 Wareham family emigrate to North America:

Wareham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Wareham, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [3]
  • Thomas Wareham, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • William Wareham, who landed in America in 1764 [3]
  • John Wareham, who arrived in New York in 1794 [3]
Wareham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wareham, who settled in Philadelphia in 1828

Canada Wareham migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wareham Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Bayfeild Wareham, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Wareham migration to Australia +

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

Wareham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Wareham, English convict who was convicted in Dorset, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [4]
  • Louisa Wareham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840 [5]

New Zealand Wareham 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:

Wareham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wareham, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Endymion" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Wareham (post 1700) +

  • Ellsworth Edwin Wareham (b. 1914), American centenarian and retired physician from Loma Linda, California
  • Dean Wareham (b. 1963), New Zealand born, American musician, known for his work with Galaxie 500, Luna and Dean and Britta
  • John "Jack" Wareham (1901-1984), English footballer who played for Stoke, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Winsford United and the Stafford Rangers from 1923 to 1928
  • John Wareham (b. 1903), English footballer
  • Pete Wareham, British saxophonist, member of the London-based jazz collective F-IRE
  • Arthur Wareham (1908-1985), English newspaper editor, Editor of the Daily Mail (1955-1959), Chairman and founder of Arthur Wareham Assoc. Ltd, a public relations company
  • Andrew Wareham (b. 1965), British historian and author, known for his books on the Economy of England in the Middle Ages
  • Louise Wareham Leonard, née Wareham, a New Zealand born American writer of British and Maori descent
  • Wareham W. Bentley, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bozrah, 1903-06 [6]

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Robert Arthur Wareham (d. 1912), aged 36, English First Class Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [7]

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^
  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 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MORLEY 1840. Retrieved from
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook