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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Wear family come from? What is the English Wear family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wear family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wear family history?

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 US: Weare, New Hampshire; and Weare Township, Michigan are listed.


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

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. 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wear research. Another 269 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1600, and 1700 are included under the topic Early Wear History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Wear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Wear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 130 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wear Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Wear 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
  • John S Wear, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1843
  • Edward Wear, aged 32, landed in New York in 1849
  • J. C. Wear who settled in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • William W. Wear settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1866

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

Wear Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Wear, aged 37, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money"
  • Andrew Wear, aged 25, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851


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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Wear Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wear Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 April 2014 at 12:23.

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