Whitman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Whitman is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name. It was a name given to a person who was a person with a pale complexion or blond hair. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. The name means "white man" [1] as far back as the 13th century when the poem Piers Plowman, (line 5195) notes "a Wightman of strengthe." [2]

Alternatively, the name could have been a baptismal name as in 'the son of Wigmann.' "I strongly suspect the baptismal origin is the correct one. " [3]

Early Origins of the Whitman family

The surname Whitman was first found in Oxfordhire. The variant Witmar (a personal name) was found in the Domesday Book of 1086. [4]

Withman (d. 1047?), Abbot of Ramsey, called also Leucander and Andrew, was a German by birth. [5]

Other early listings of the name or one of its variants include: Witeman fugitius who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1170; William Witman who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1230; Richard Wyteman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1243; and Stephen Whytman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1243. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Agnes Wyteman in Oxfordshire; John Wyteman in Cambridgeshire; Thomas Wyteman in Oxfordshire and William Wytman in Huntingdonshire. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes Wyghman, Willelmus Wyghman, and Johannes Wyghman as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

The Scottish connection should now be explored. "Gilbert Wichtmann was rector of Lyne in 1527, and John Wychtman rendered to Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Peebles in 1563. Thomas Vychtman was witness in Perthshire, 1547, John Waichtman appears in Melrose, 1606. " [7]

Early History of the Whitman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitman research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1631, 1688, 1716, 1566, 1612, 1544 and are included under the topic Early Whitman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whitman Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Whitman has appeared include Whiteman, Whitman, Wightman, Whyteman and others.

Early Notables of the Whitman family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Edward Wightman (1566-1612), an English Baptist, executed at Lichfield for his views and was the last person to be burned at the stake for heresy in England. "He is said to have...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Whitman family to Ireland

Some of the Whitman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 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 Whitman migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Whitman arrived in North America very early:

Whitman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sara Whitman, aged 25, who arrived in New England in 1635 [8]
  • Zacha Whitman, aged 2, who arrived in New England in 1635 [8]
  • Zacharia Whitman, aged 40, who landed in New England in 1635 [8]
  • Thomas Whitman, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1653 [8]
  • Valentine Whitman, who landed in New England in 1654 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Whitman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Maria Phillis Whitman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729 [8]
  • Mathies Whitman, aged 56, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Johanes Whitman, aged 15, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Mara Catrana Whitman, aged 38, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • George Whitman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760 [8]
Whitman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Whitman, who arrived in Ohio in 1850 [8]
  • Philip Whitman, aged 29, who arrived in Alabama in 1855 [8]
  • Frank Whitman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1861 [8]

Canada Whitman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whitman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Whitman, who arrived in Anapolis (Annapolis), Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Noah Whitman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. George Whitman U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [9]

Australia Whitman migration to Australia +

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

Whitman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Whitman, aged 17, a printer, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836 [10]

New Zealand Whitman 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:

Whitman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Whitman, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841

Contemporary Notables of the name Whitman (post 1700) +

  • Walter "Walt" Whitman (1819-1892), American poet, journalist and essayist, best known for his "Leaves of Grass"
  • Margaret Cushing "Meg" Whitman (b. 1956), American President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay (1998-2008), President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard (2011-2018), CEO of NewTV (2018-)
  • Stuart Maxwell Whitman (1928-2020), American Academy Award nominated film and television actor, known for his work in The Mark (1961), The Comancheros (1961) and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)
  • Martin J. Whitman (1924-2018), American investment adviser, founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Third Avenue Management
  • John Russell Whitman (1944-2015), American businessman and investment banker, First Gentleman of New Jersey (1994-2001)
  • Sarah Helen Power Whitman (1803-1878), American poet, essayist, spiritualist and romantic interest of Edgar Allan Poe
  • Sarah de St. Prix Wyman Whitman (1842-1904), American artist and illustrator, stained glass designer, and author
  • Kari Kennell Whitman (b. 1964), American model and actress
  • Frank Perkins Whitman (1853-1919), American physicist and professor of physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1880-1886)
  • George Whitman (1913-2011), American proprietor of the popular tourist attraction the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. George Frederick Whitman, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]


Suggested Readings for the name Whitman +

  • 1511 The History of Alfred & Sarah Andrews Whitman: Their Ancestors & Descendants by Herbert S. Whitman.

  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Langland, William, Piers the Ploughman. Translated by J.F. Goodridge. Penguin Books, 1959. Original copy was published in 13th century.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AFRICAINE 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Africaine.htm
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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