An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Whitaker has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family 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 Whitaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Whitaker have been found, including Whittaker, Whittakers, Whitaker, Whitacre and others.
First found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was of 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 were permitted to keep their estates there. 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." 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitaker research. Another 201 words (14 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 Whitaker History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 291 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitaker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Whitaker family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Whitaker, or a variant listed above:
Whitaker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Whitaker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Whitaker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Whitaker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Whitaker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Whitaker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whitaker Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 25 February 2016 at 13:17.