Wearham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wearham is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in the settlement of Wareham in Dorset or in either of the places called Warham in Herefordshire or Norfolk. The surname Wearham belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Wearham family

The surname Wearham was first found in Dorset where they were Lords of the manor of Wareham. Today Wareham (Wareham Town) is a town and civil parish, in Dorset situated on the River Frome eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole. The older streets of the town date back to Roman times. Town walls and ancient earth ramparts still surround the town which were built by Alfred the Great in the 9th century.

Historically, the town was a Saxon royal burial place, notably that of King Beorhtric (c. 800) and Edward the Martyr (c. 978). Like many other towns of Dorset, fishing was an important way of life that led many to the New World in search of better fishing grounds.

Wareham Priory was a priory in Dorset, and may have dated back to the Saxons in 672. The site is now home to the Priory Hotel. "The ancient mansion of Dinton Hall [in Dinton, Buckinghamshire] was probably erected by William de Wareham, Archbishop of Canterbury, his name, and his arms quartered with those of the see of Canterbury, frequently occurring in the old painted-glass windows." [1]

One of the first on record was Ranulf of Wareham (died 1222), also known Ranulph de Wareham or Ralph Wareham, the medieval Bishop of Chichester (1217-1222.) He was a monk of Norwich Cathedral before becoming prior. It is generally believed that he came from Dorset. In 1829, his bones were found in Chichester Cathedral.

Early History of the Wearham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wearham research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1222, 1450, 1532, 1502, 1504, 1532, 1655, 1450, 1532, 1503, 1532, 1502, 1506, 1509, 1480, 1557, 1505 and 1532 are included under the topic Early Wearham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wearham Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Wearham has been spelled many different ways, including Warham, Wareham and others.

Early Notables of the Wearham family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Warham (c.1450-1532), Archbishop of Canterbury (1503-1532.) Born in Malshanger, Hampshire, he was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He rose to become Bishop of London in 1502 and later Chancellor of Oxford University in 1506. He married...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wearham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wearham family to Ireland

Some of the Wearham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wearham family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Wearhams to arrive in North America: Thomas Warham from Wareham, Dorset, who settled at Carbonear, Newfoundland, in 1830; ? Wareham who was the first settler and eponym of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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