Show ContentsWhiddon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Whiddon family

The surname Whiddon was first found in various shires throughout ancient Britain. The name Whitton literally means "white farmstead," or "farmstead of a man called Hwita," from the Old English words "hwit," + "tun. [1] [2]

Witton which is a phonetic match, is similarly found throughout England. In this case, the name literally means "farmstead in or near a wood." [1] While the parish names are different, family records typically are scattered in both places, thanks to the ancient spellings that were in use. By example, "Witton, Worcestershire, was Wytton in the 14th century, Witune and Witone [were listed ] in Domesday Book., Wittun A.D. 972, Wittona A.D. 716. The Warwickshire place, Wytton in the 14th cent., was Witone in Domesday Book. Witton, Northwich, was Wytton in the 14th cent. The Lancashire township was Wytton in the 13th cent. The Yorkshire Wittons were Witun in Domesday Book. Witton Gilbert, Durham, was Wittone in the 14th cent., Witton in the 12th century. But Witton-le-Wear, Durham, was Wotton as well as Witton in the 14th cent., apparently the Wuduton [Old English wudu, wiodu, a wood, forest] of Symeon of Durham." [3]

There is some evidence that the name may be Norman in origin as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Robert Witon in Normandy 1180-1195. [4]

"There are parishes in Lincoln, Durham, Hereford, Northumberland, Salop (Shropshire) and Suffolk." [5]

In Chagford, Devon, "the Whyddons the most notable was the eminent judge, Sir John, Serjeant-at-Law under Edward VI., and Judge of the Queen's Bench in the first year of Mary. He died January 27, 1575, and his monument forms one of the leading features of Chagford Church. Whyddon Park is a stretch of broken shaggy moorland hillside descending to the Teign. " [6]

In Scotland, the lands of Whitton, in Morebattle parish were found in Roxburghshire. "Several individuals between 1165 and 1306 appear to have derived their surname from the lands of Whitton." [7] John Wytton was prior of St. Andrews in 1285 A.D., Michael and Adam Wytton both rendered homage to King Edward I of England in his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. Richard de Wyttone, persone of the church of Hauwyk, also rendered homage in the same year. Michael was chief forester of the Forest of Selkirk in 1303. His seal showed a deer running. Richard Wyttone, a dignitary of the Church also rendered homage. David Qwitton was juror on an inquest at Roxburgh in 1361. Michael de Witton and Adam de Wytton of Selkirkshire rendered homage in 1296 (Bain, II, p. 198), and Thomas de Wytton had protection for two years for going on the king of England's service beyond seas, 1370. [7]

Early History of the Whiddon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whiddon research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1400, 1370, 1303, 1576, 1585, 1595, 1585, 1588, 1635 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Whiddon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whiddon Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Whitton, Whitten, Whytten, Whytton, Wytton, Wytten, Witten, Witton, Wyton and many more.

Early Notables of the Whiddon family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Michael Whitton, Chief Forester of the Kings Forest of Selkirk in 1303. [7] Sir John Whiddon (d. 1576), was an English judge, the eldest son of John Whiddon of Chagford in Devonshire, where his family had long been established. [8] Jacob Whiddon (fl. 1585-1595), was an English sea-captain, "a trusted servant and follower of Sir Walter Raleigh (Ralegh), who speaks of him as 'a man most valiant and honest,' seems to have been with Sir Richard...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whiddon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whiddon Ranking

In the United States, the name Whiddon is the 13,375th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9]

United States Whiddon migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whiddon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hettie Whiddon, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Whiddon Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Earl Whiddon, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States, in 1922
  • Earle Whiddon, aged 21, who settled in America, in 1924
  • Karl Whiddon, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1924
  • Merle S. Whiddon, aged 21, who immigrated to America, in 1924

Australia Whiddon migration to Australia +

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

Whiddon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Whiddon, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"

New Zealand Whiddon migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Whiddon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Frank Whiddon, (b. 1858), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Whiddon (post 1700) +

  • Wiley W. Whiddon, American politician, Delegate to Florida State Constitutional Convention from Taylor County, 1865 [11]
  • Pamela Whiddon, American actress
  • Jerry Whiddon, American actor
  • Frederick Palmer Whiddon (1930-2002), American academic, founder and long-time president of the University of South Alabama

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  7. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  8. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  9. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from on Facebook