Warnham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Warnham 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 Warnham 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 Warnham family

The surname Warnham 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 Warnham family

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

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

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

Ireland Migration of the Warnham family to Ireland

Some of the Warnham 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 Warnham family

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 Warnham family emigrate to North America: 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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