Wathen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wathen is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wathen family lived in Nottingham, at Whatton. The name of this town derives from the Old English words hvaete, meaning wheat, and tun, meaning settlement or enclosure. [1]

Early Origins of the Wathen family

The surname Wathen was first found in Nottingham where a Norman noble, Robert de Watone, the youngest son of Gaitier de Tirell, Seigneur de Poix in Picardy, was granted the Lordship of Wattone in the Vale in that shire, and it was shown in the Domesday Survey of 1086. [2]

Today, there are numerous places in Britain by the name Watton: Watton, Devon; Watton, East Riding of Yorkshire; Watton, Norfolk; and Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire.

Early History of the Wathen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wathen research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wathen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wathen Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Wathen were recorded, including Wattone, Watone, Wathon, Watton, Watten, Wattan, Whattone, Whatone, Whathon and many more.

Early Notables of the Wathen family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Wathen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wathen Ranking

In the United States, the name Wathen is the 11,766th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Wathen migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Wathen arrived in North America very early:

Wathen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wathen, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [4]
  • John Wathen, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [4]

Canada Wathen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wathen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Charles Wathen U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 190 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [5]

Australia Wathen migration to Australia +

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

Wathen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Wathen, British Convict who was convicted in Gloucester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

New Zealand Wathen 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:

Wathen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • M Wathen, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Lady Nugent
  • Mr. Wathen, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 17th March 1841 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wathen (post 1700) +

  • Richard B. Wathen (1917-2001), American politician, journalist, and author, Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives between 1973 and 1990
  • Daniel E. Wathen, American lawyer and politician, Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (1992-2001)
  • Daniel E. Wathen, American politician, Justice of Maine State Supreme Court, 1981-92; Chief Justice of Maine State Supreme Court, 1992-2001; Resigned 2001 [8]
  • James Wathen (1751-1828), English traveller, son of Thomas Wathen of the Kellin, Herefordshire
  • George Henry Wathen FGS (1816-1879), English geologist, author, magazine publisher, and South African politician
  • Samuel Wathen (1720-1787), English physician, personal physician for Rev. John Wesley and Queen Charlotte of England
  • Jonathan Wathen (1728-1808), English surgeon, mentor to Sir Jonathan Wathen Waller, his stepson
  • George Wathen (1762-1849), English actor, stage manager and theatre owner
  • Arthur Wathen (1841-1937), English cricketer who played from 1863 to 1864
  • Heini Wathén (b. 1955), former Finnish model and Miss Viking pageant winner
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Wathen 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: Fidei coticula crux
Motto Translation: The cross is the test of truth.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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