Wattis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Wattis family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Wattis is based on the Germanic personal name Walter. The name is composed of the elements wald, meaning rule and heri, meaning army.
Early Origins of the Wattis family
The surname Wattis was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat from early times as Lords of the manor or Crowhurst.
Walter of Lorraine (d. 1079), was Bishop of Hereford, a native of Lotharingia or Lorraine, was chaplain of Edith or Eadgyth (d. 1075), the Confessor's queen, and as a reward of his industry was appointed to the bishopric of Hereford at Christmas 1060. 
Walter of Palermo ( fl. 1170), was Archbishop of Palermo, primate and chancellor of Sicily, and was sent to Sicily by Henry II of England as an instructor for young William II of Sicily. 
Hubert Walter (c.1160-1205) was Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Weeton in Lancashire was an early home of the family. "This place, in Domesday Book called Widetun, was early in the family of Walter." 
"The church [of Woolvercott in Lancashire], situated on the bank of the Isis, has a sepulchral chapel on the north side, containing a stately monument to the family of Walter, of whom David Walter was High Sheriff of the county, and commanded a regiment of horse under Charles I. in the parliamentary war." 
About the same time, Greenalgh with Thistleton, again in Lancashire was home to another branch of the family. It was here that the manor of Greenalgh-cum-Thistleton was held in the reign of Charles I. 
Early History of the Wattis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wattis research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1847, 1412, 1412, 1566, 1630, 1611, 1678, 1566, 1630, 1604, 1675, 1628, 1629 and are included under the topic Early Wattis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wattis 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 Wattis were recorded, including Walter, Walters, Watter, Watters, Walthew, Wattis and others.
Early Notables of the Wattis family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Walter or FitzWalter (d. 1412?), an early astrologer, educated at Winchester and Oxford. He died at Winchester, and was buried there about 1412. 
Sir John Walter (1566-1630), was an English judge, second son of Edmund Walter of Ludlow, Shropshire. 
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wattis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wattis family to Ireland
Some of the Wattis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wattis 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 Wattis arrived in North America very early:
Wattis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Wattis, who landed in Virginia in 1639 
Wattis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William and Edward Wattis, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856 and 1864 respectively
- Edward Wattis, who settled in Philadelphia in 1864
Contemporary Notables of the name Wattis (post 1700) +
- Edmund Wattis Littlefield (1914-2001), California businessman and philanthropist
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)