Warhirst History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Warhirst family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the settlement of Wareham in Dorset or in either of the places called Warham in Herefordshire or Norfolk. The surname Warhirst 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 Warhirst family

The surname Warhirst 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 Warhirst family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Warhirst 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 Warhirst History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Warhirst Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Warhirst include Warham, Wareham and others.

Early Notables of the Warhirst 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 Warhirst Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Warhirst family to Ireland

Some of the Warhirst 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.

Migration of the Warhirst family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Warhirst or a variant listed above: Thomas Warham from Wareham, Dorset, who settled at Carbonear, Newfoundland, in 1830; ? Wareham who was the first settler and eponym of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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