Whisenant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Whisenant come from its first bearer, who was a wise or learned person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word wis, meaning wise or knowledgeable. [1]

Early Origins of the Whisenant family

The surname Whisenant was first found in Devon where they held a family seat anciently as Lords of the manor of Greston, at the time of the Conquest in 1066. "The ancient knightly family of Wise of Mount Wise in Stoke Damerel (Devonport) was one of the oldest families in the west of England: one of this family was High Sheriff of Devonshire in 1612." [2]

Early History of the Whisenant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whisenant research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1645, 1648, 1687, 1668, 1676, 1695, 1767, 1719, 1729, 1653, 1738, 1646, 1687 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Whisenant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whisenant 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. Whisenant has been spelled many different ways, including Wise, Wyse and others.

Early Notables of the Whisenant family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Michael Wise (1648-1687), an English organist and composer, Organist and Choirmaster at Salisbury Cathedral (1668), Gentleman of the Chapel Royal (1676.) Francis Wise (1695-1767), was an English archaeologist, born in the parish of All Saints, Oxford, son of Francis Wise, mercer, of Oxford. "In December 1719 he was appointed under-keeper of the Bodleian Library, and about this time he collated a manuscript in the Laud collection for the 1729 edition of Plutarch's 'Lives.'...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whisenant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Whisenant family to Ireland

Some of the Whisenant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 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 Whisenant migration to the United States +

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 Whisenants to arrive in North America:

Whisenant Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John R. Whisenant, aged 35, who arrived in New York, N. Y. in 1924 aboard the ship "Joseph M. Cudahy" from Tampico, Mexico [3]
  • Celestine Whisenant, aged 29, who arrived in New York, N. Y. in 1924 aboard the ship "Joseph M. Cudahy" from Tampico, Mexico [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Whisenant (post 1700) +

  • Edgar C. Whisenant (1932-2001), American NASA engineer and Biblical author who predicted the Christian Rapture would occur in 1988
  • Thomas Peter "Pete" Whisenant (1929-1996), American Major League Baseball outfielder and coach
  • Matthew Michael Whisenant (b. 1971), American former Major League Baseball pitcher


The Whisenant 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: Sapere aude
Motto Translation: Dare to be wise.




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