Whitacre History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Whitacre is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in one of a number of similarly-named places. The settlement of Wheatacre is in Norfolk, while Whiteacre in Waltham is in Kent; both of these names literally mean wheat-field. The place named Whitacre is in Warwickshire, while High Whitaker is in Lancashire; these names both mean white field. The surname Whitacre 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 Whitacre family
The surname Whitacre was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family was permitted to keep their estates. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant "white cultivated land" from the Old English words "hwit" + "aecer." 
One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. 
"The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620. " 
One of the more interesting etymologies we found was the following: " local. The north part of a graveyard allotted to the poor was called Whittaker, from wite, a penalty, and acre,-a place of burial for criminals. A culprit who could not discharge the penalty or wite became a "witetheow," and was buried in the wite-acre. Bailey defines Whittaker "the north-east part of a flat or shoal-the middle ground." 
We tend to believe that name was more likely "derived from a geographical locality. 'of the white acre.' "  as the former entry would suppose that there would be many such listings of the surname scattered throughout ancient Britain and this was clearly not the case.
Early History of the Whitacre family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitacre research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1375, 1548, 1595, 1586, 1580, 1646, 1640, 1622, 1695, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1642, 1715, 1695, 1696, 1701, 1702, 1660, 1735 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Whitacre History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Whitacre 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. Whitacre has been spelled many different ways, including Whittaker, Whittakers, Whitaker, Whitacre and others.
Early Notables of the Whitacre family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Richard de Whitacre (c.1300-1375), Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley, he claimed direct descendancy for the aforementioned Johias Whitacre; William Whitaker (1548-1595), English Anglican theologian, Master of St. John's College, Cambridge; Henry Whitaker, English politician, Member of Parliament for Westbury in 1586; William Whitaker (c.1580-1646) of Shaftesbury, an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Shaftesbury in 1640; Henry Whitaker (c...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitacre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Whitacre family to Ireland
Some of the Whitacre 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.
Whitacre 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 Whitacres to arrive in North America:
Whitacre Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Ann Whitacre, who settled in Virginia in 1636
- Ann Whitacre, who landed in Virginia in 1636 
- Richard Whitacre, who landed in New Jersey in 1675 
- John Whitacre, who arrived in Maryland in 1676 
Whitacre Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John, Anne, and Robert Whitacre, who settled in Virginia in 1700
Contemporary Notables of the name Whitacre (post 1700) +
- John J. Whitacre (1860-1938), American Representative from Ohio elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Congresses (1911-1915)
- Eric Whitacre (b. 1970), American Grammy Award winning composer, conductor and lecturer, probably best known for his choral work
- Edward Earl "Ed" Whitacre Jr. (b. 1941), American former Chairman and CEO of General Motors and national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1998 to 2000
- Walter Whitacre, American Republican politician, Member of Nevada State House of Representatives, 1950; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nevada, 1956 
- Vernon C. Whitacre, American Democrat politician, Chair of Hampshire County Democratic Party, 1946-63, 1972-75; Member of West Virginia State Senate 16th District, 1982-88; Appointed 1982 
- Julie Whitacre, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nevada, 2004 
- John Jefferson Whitacre (1860-1938), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 18th District, 1911-15; Defeated, 1908; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1912 
Related Stories +
The Whitacre 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: Spes et fides
Motto Translation: Hope and faith.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html