Watch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Early Origins of the Watch family

The surname Watch was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Westcott. Cornwall was a land set apart, a land of mystique and quaint customs, more strongly related to Brittany and Wales than to England. It was not until the 10th century that they submitted to the Saxon rule of England. Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Richard of Chichester (1197-1253), also known as Richard de Wych, Bishop of Chichester (1244-1253) is a saint who was canonized in 1262. A shrine was built in Chichester Cathedral dedicated to Richard and had become a centre of pilgrimage. In 1538, during the reign of Henry VIII, the shrine was plundered and destroyed by order of Thomas Cromwell. St Richard of Chichester is patron saint of Sussex since 2007, his translated saint's day of 16 June is celebrated as Sussex Day.

Wych Street was a street in London, that ran west from the church of St Clement Danes on the Strand to a point towards the southern end of Drury Lane. It was demolished by the London County Council in around 1901 as part of the redevelopment that created the Kingsway and Aldwych.

Important Dates for the Watch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watch research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1384, 1393, 1384, 1385, 1386, 1390, 1393, 1632, 1707, 1661, 1678, 1681, 1685, 1685, 1689, 1702, 1705, 1676, 1682, 1692, 1693, 1695, 1756, 1554, 1621, 1593, 1643, 1628, 1699, 1607, 1659, 1607 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Watch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watch Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Wadge, Watch, Wage, Wych, Wich and others.

Early Notables of the Watch family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Wych ( fl. 1384-1393), an English politician, Member of the Parliament for Hereford in 1384, 1385, 1386, 1390 and 1393; Sir Cyril Wyche PRS (1632-c.1707), an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Callington (1661-1678), for East Grinstead (1681-1685), for Saltash (1685-1689); and for Preston (1702-1705), Chief Secretary for Ireland (1676-1682) and (1692-1693)...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watch migration to the United States

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Watch:

Watch Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Watch, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [1]

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
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