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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Whitman family come from? What is the English Whitman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Whitman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Whitman family history?

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]


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.

First found in Peebles-shire. The variant Witmar was found in the Domesday Book of 1086. 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. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitman research. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1688, 1716, 1566, 1612 and are included under the topic Early Whitman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Whitman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Zacha Whitman, aged 2, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Zacharia Whitman, aged 40, landed in New England in 1635
  • Thomas Whitman, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1653
  • Valentine Whitman, who landed in New England in 1654

Whitman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Maria Phillis Whitman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Mathies Whitman, aged 56, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Johanes Whitman, aged 15, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Mara Catrana Whitman, aged 38, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • George Whitman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760

Whitman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael Whitman, who arrived in Ohio in 1850
  • Philip Whitman, aged 29, arrived in Alabama in 1855
  • Frank Whitman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1861

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

Whitman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Whitman, aged 17, a printer, arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836

Whitman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Whitman landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841


  • 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
  • Christine "Christie" Todd Whitman (b. 1946), American Republican politician, 9th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (2001-2003), 50th Governor of New Jersey (1994-2001)
  • Brian David Whitman (b. 1972), American talk radio host, voice impressionist and comedian
  • Walter "Walt" Whitman (1819-1892), American poet, journalist and essayist, best known for his "Leaves of Grass"
  • Stuart Maxwell Whitman (b. 1928), American Academy Award nominated actor, known for Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines... (1965), The Comancheros (1961) and Cimarron Strip (1967)



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

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  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Whitman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whitman 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 16 December 2015 at 08:29.

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