Wear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wear is derived from the Old English word "wer" which meant a "weir, dam, fishing-trap" In other words, the family were "dwellers by a dam" or "keepers of the fishing-weir," or fishermen. Today in Britain, Weare and Lower Weare are small villages in Somerset, England, on the River Axe, south of the Mendip Hills. And in the United States, Weare, New Hampshire; and Weare Township, Michigan are listed.

Early Origins of the Wear family

The surname Wear was first found in Devon where one of the first records was Peter de la Were who was listed in a census in 1242 and John atte Were was listed in a Somerset census in 1332. [1]

Traditionally, this family derive from an ancient branch of the Giffards of Devon and Somerset and are not related to the Weir of Vere families. Some say, in early times before the 12th century, the Weare-Giffards of Brightly and Halsworthy took the name Weare and eventually dropped the Giffard portion of the name.

"Jacobstow [Ccornwall] in the year 1573, had the honour of giving birth to Diggory Wheare, the author of a life of Camden, a treatise on reading history, and other works. He was appointed by Camden as his first reader in history at Oxford." [2]

Early History of the Wear family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wear research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1600, 1700, 1573, 1647, 1593, 1623 and are included under the topic Early Wear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wear Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Were, Where, Wear, Wears, Weare and others.

Early Notables of the Wear family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Degory Wheare (1573-1647), English professor of history at Oxford University, born at the mansion of Berry Court, Jacobstow, about eight miles south of Stratton in North Cornwall. "He matriculated from Broadgates Hall, Oxford, on 6...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wear family to Ireland

Some of the Wear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 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 Wear migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wear Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Wear, who settled in New England in 1718
Wear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Wear, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [3]
  • John S Wear, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1843 [3]
  • Edward Wear, aged 32, who landed in New York in 1849 [3]
  • J. C. Wear who settled in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • William W. Wear, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1866

Canada Wear migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wear Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mary Wear, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Danl Wear, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • George Wear, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Wear migration to Australia +

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

Wear Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Wear, aged 37, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [4]
  • Andrew Wear, aged 25, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Wear, (b. 1854), aged 24, Cornish moulder travelling aboard the ship "Erato" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 13th May 1878 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wear (post 1700) +

  • Terrance Wear, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 2008 [7]
  • Sam M. Wear, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 6th District, 1942, 1943; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1944 [7]
  • Joseph Walker Wear (b. 1876), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 [7]
  • John Edmund Wear (1921-2000), American politician, Mayor of Salisbury, North Carolina, 1985-91 [7]
  • Jerry Wear, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Farmington, Minnesota, 2012 [7]
  • Wear Kibler Schoonover (1910-1982), American actor, known for Maybe It's Love (1930)
  • Wear Schoonover (1910-1982), American college football player, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1967


The Wear 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: Fuimus
Motto Translation: God and my country.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "WILLIAM MONEY" 1848-49. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WmMoney.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Hydaspes.htm
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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