Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Whattam family, who lived in Nottingham, at Whatton. The name of this town derives from the Old English words hvaete, meaning wheat, and tun, meaning settlement or enclosure.
Early Origins of the Whattam family
Nottingham where a Norman noble, Robert de Watone, the youngest son of Gaitier de Tirell, Seigneur de Poix in Picardy, was granted the Lordship of Wattone in the Vale in that shire, and it was shown in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Today, there are numerous places in Britain by the name Watton: Watton, Devon; Watton, East Riding of Yorkshire; Watton, Norfolk; and Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire.
Early History of the Whattam family
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Whattam 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 Whattam were recorded, including Wattone, Watone, Wathon, Watton, Watten, Wattan, Whattone, Whatone, Whathon and many more.
Early Notables of the Whattam family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Whattam family to the New World and Oceana
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 Whattam arrived in North America very early: John Watton who settled in Virginia in 1623; followed by another John Watton in Virginia in 1656; Thomas Watton settled in Virginia in 1639; another Thomas arrived in Baltimore in 1775.
The Whattam 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: Fidei coticula crux
Motto Translation: The cross is the test of truth.
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