Wherry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wherry 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 Wherry family

The surname Wherry 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 Wherry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wherry 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 Wherry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wherry Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Wherry 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 Wherry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wherry family to Ireland

Some of the Wherry 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 Wherry migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wherry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Wherry, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [3]

Australia Wherry migration to Australia +

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

Wherry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Wherry, aged 22, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [4]
  • George Wherry, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" in 1849 [4]
  • Mr. George Wherry, (b. 1826), aged 23, Cornish farm labourer from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Labuan" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 11th February 1849 [5]
  • Mrs. Maria Wherry, (b. 1821), aged 28, Cornish settler from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Labuan" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 11th February 1849 [5]
  • Mr. George Wherry, (b. 1826), aged 23, Cornish farm labourer from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Labuan" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 11th February 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wherry (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Wherry, American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 13th District, 1854-56 [7]
  • Otis C. Wherry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1936 (alternate), 1944; Member of Illinois Democratic State Central Committee, 1943 [7]
  • Kenneth Spicer Wherry (1892-1951), American Republican politician,Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1929-31; Nebraska Republican State Chair, 1939-42; U.S. Senator from Nebraska, 1943-51; Speaker, Republican National Convention, 1948 [7]
  • Jesse Wherry, American politician, Member of Dakota territorial House of Representatives, 1863-64 [7]
  • Jack Wherry, American politician, Member of Iowa American Independent State Central Committee, 1971; American Independent Candidate for Presidential Elector for Iowa, 1972 [7]
  • Eli H. Wherry, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Jackson County 6th District, 1925-26, 1929-30 [7]
  • Daniel E. Wherry, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Nebraska, 1975-77 [7]
  • Charles O. Wherry, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, 1916-22; Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 40th District, 1926 [7]


The Wherry 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) The SIR EDWARD PARRY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SirEdwardParry.htm
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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