Watts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Watts was derived from the common given name Watt, which was a short form of Walter. "Walter being one of the great fontal names of the 13th and 14th centuries, and Wat being the popular nick., it can scarcely be a matter for surprise that Watts and Watson are two of our most familiar surnames." [1]

Early Origins of the Watts family

The surname Watts was first found in Worcestershire where they held a family seat from early times, and were descended from Simon Wathes, a soldier of fortune, who accompanied King Stephen into England in the year 1135.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family, that of William Wattes in Oxfordshire and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Watte as holding lands there at that time. [1]

John Wathes was Lord of the manor of Eston in that county in 1347. His son, William Wathes, was father of Simon Wattys. Sir Richard Wattys, his son, fought under the banner of York at the Battle of Wakefield where he died leaving Thomas Wattys the manor of Whitefield in Northampton.

Sir Michael Wath ( fl. 1314-1347), was an English judge who probably derived his surname from one of the three places of the name of Wath in Yorkshire. [2]

"The family of Watts of Hawkesdale Hall, co. Cumberland, deduce themselves from Sir John le Fleming, Lord of Wath, on Dearn, co. York, who died 14. Edw. II. His second son Raynier assumed the territorial name De Wath, and his descendants gradually corrupted that designation to its present form. In temp. Edward II. it was De Wath or Wathes; temp. Henry VI., Wattys; temp. Henry VII., Wattes; temp. Charles I., and subsequently, Watts." [3]

Early History of the Watts family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watts research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1511, 1615, 1446, 1674, 1748 and are included under the topic Early Watts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watts Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Watts, Wathes, Wattys, Wath, Watt and others.

Early Notables of the Watts family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watts World Ranking

In the United States, the name Watts is the 294th most popular surname with an estimated 92,019 people with that name. [4] However, in Canada, the name Watts is ranked the 716th most popular surname with an estimated 7,467 people with that name. [5] And in Australia, the name Watts is the 144th popular surname with an estimated 19,782 people with that name. [6] New Zealand ranks Watts as 234th with 2,524 people. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Watts family to Ireland

Some of the Watts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Watts migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Watts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Watts, who settled in Maine in 1630
  • Jonas Watts, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Jonas Watts, aged 21, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • Lyddia Watts, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [8]
  • Jerimiah Watts, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Watts Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Watts, who settled in New York in 1700 from Edinburgh
  • Daniel Watts, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • Experiance Watts, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • Frances Watts, who landed in Georgia in 1743 [8]
  • Captain Watts, who settled in Boston in 1755
Watts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Archibald Watts, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1812 [8]
  • Joseph Watts, aged 28, who landed in New York in 1812 [8]
  • Charles Watts, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [8]
  • Margaret Watts, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [8]
  • Jane Watts, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Watts migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Watts Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Robert Watts who settled in Bona Vista in Newfoundland in 1708 [9]
Watts Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Henry Watts, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • James Watts, aged 36, a weaver, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Janet Watts, aged 33, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Jane Watts, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Charles Watts, aged 12, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Watts migration to Australia +

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

Watts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Betty Watts, British Convict who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. George Watts, British Convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Richard Watts, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Timothy Watts, (Farmer), British Convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • Mr. Joseph Watts, (b. 1800), aged 21, English Ostler who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years for felony, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1828 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Watts Settlers in Australia in the 20th Century
  • "Miss Elizabeth Watts, (b. 1808), aged 20, English milliner who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for shop lifting, transported aboard the ""Competitor"" on 9th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia" [15]
  • "Miss Elizabeth Watts, (Carole Cooper), (b. 1812), aged 16, English nurse girl who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the ""Competitor"" on 9th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1845 mother and sisters on the same ship" [15]

New Zealand Watts 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:

Watts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Watts, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Glenbervie
  • William Watts, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Arab
  • William Watts, aged 27, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Esther Watts, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Harriet Ann Watts, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Watts migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
  • Medusala Watts, (b. 1567), aged 67, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 [8]
Watts Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John Watt's, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [17]
  • Mr. James Watts, (b. 1600), aged 35, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [17]
  • Mr. John Watts, (b. 1610), aged 25, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [17]
  • James Watts, aged 35, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [8]
  • Jo Watts, aged 19, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Watts (post 1700) +

  • John Watts De Peyster Jr. (1841-1873), Union Army officer during the American Civil War
  • John Watts de Peyster Sr. (1821-1907), American author on the art of war, philanthropist, Adjutant General of the New York National Guard
  • John Watts (1778-1823), American merchant captain from Virginia, eponym of the destroyer USS Watts (DD-567)
  • André Watts (b. 1946), German-born, American classical pianist and professor
  • Mary Stanbery Watts (1868-1958), American novelist from Delaware County, Ohio
  • Heather Watts (b. 1953), American principal ballerina with New York City Ballet
  • Richard Watts Jr. (1898-1981), American theatre critic
  • Alan Wilson Watts (1915-1973), English-born American philosopher and popularizer of Buddhism
  • Charles E. Watts, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 8.75 aerial victories
  • John Arthur Watts (1947-2016), English politician, Member of Parliament for Slough (1983–1997)
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Francis Charles William Watts (d. 1942), British Petty Officer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [18]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Edward A H Watts (b. 1905), English Chief Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Wimbledon, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William A Watts, British Assistant Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [20]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. James Watts, British Shipwright 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Edgar George Watts, British Chief Petty Officer Cook "S", who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [21]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Herbert Cecil Watts (1900-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [22]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. George Watts (b. 1847), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [23]
  • Mr. Isaac Watts (b. 1850), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [23]
  • Mr. Henry Watts (b. 1848), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [23]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Burkill Watts (b. 1914), Newfoundlander from Brigus who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Sherman Maurice Watts, American Hospital Apprentice First Class from Arkansas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Victor Ed Watts, American Gunner's Mate Third Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [24]


Suggested Readings for the name Watts +

  • A History of the Watts Family by George B. Watts.
  • Thomas Watts and Alexander McElwain: Their Ancestors, Descendants, and Related Families by Dorothy Claybroke Watts Brooks.
  • Watts, 1687-1975: Ancestry and Descendants of Ridley Watts by Harriett Mott Stryker-Rodda.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/competitor
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  21. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  22. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  23. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  24. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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