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Whitney is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Whitney family lived in Herefordshire, at the village of Whitney.

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The surname Whitney was first found in Herefordshire where Harold de Whitney held the Lordship of Whitney from St. Guthlac's Church.

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Whitney, Witney and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitney research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1413 and 1436 are included under the topic Early Whitney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Whitney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Whitney name or one of its variants:

Whitney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ellen Whitney, aged 30, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Jo Whitney, aged 35, landed in New England in 1635
  • John Whitney, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Jonathan Whitney, aged 1, landed in New England in 1635
  • Nathaniell Whitney, aged 8, arrived in New England in 1635
  • ...

Whitney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Whitney, who settled in Boston in 1765
  • Robert Whitney, who arrived in New York in 1795
  • David Whitney, whose oath of allegiance was recorded in New York city in 1797

Whitney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Whitney, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Whitney Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edward L Whitney, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1904
  • Albert Whitney, aged 64, who landed in America from London, in 1905
  • Ann Eliza Whitney, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States from Macclesfield, England, in 1907
  • Annie Whitney, aged 22, who settled in America from Sole, England, in 1907
  • Bridget Whitney, aged 16, who landed in America from Drumlish, Ireland, in 1907
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Whitney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Miss. Betty Whitney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 daughter of Sylvanus and Betty Whitney
  • Miss. Hannah Whitney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 daughter of Josiah and Sarah Whitney listed as a child less than 10 years of age
  • Mr. Huldah Whitney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 son of Sylvanus and Betty Whitney
  • Mr. John Whitney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 son of Josiah and Sarah Whitney listed as a child less than 10 years of age
  • Mr. Josiah Whitney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 son of Josiah and Sarah Whitney
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Whitney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Whitney, aged 36, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Elizabeth Whitney, aged 31, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • William Whitney, aged 36, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • Elizabeth Whitney, aged 9, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • John Whitney, aged 34, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"

Whitney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Ellen Whitney arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864
  • William Whitney arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lorraine" in 1879
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  • Charles Andrew Whitney (1864-1912), American businessman and industrialist
  • Charlotte Anita Whitney (1867-1955), American women's rights activist, political activist, suffragist
  • Benson Kelley Whitney (b. 1956), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Norway from 2006 to 2009
  • Asa Whitney (b. 1791), American manufacturer, inventor, railroad executive and politician
  • Asa Whitney (1797-1874), American dry-goods merchant and transcontinental railroad promoter, one of the first backers of an American transcontinental railway
  • Anne Whitney (b. 1821), American sculptor and poet
  • Amos Whitney (1832-1920), American mechanical engineer and Connecticut inventor, co-founder of the Pratt & Whitney company
  • Wheelock "Whee" Whitney Jr. (1926-2016), American businessman, educator, sports team executive and owner
  • Davey L. "Wiz" Whitney (1930-2015), American college head basketball coach at Texas Southern University (1964-1969) and Alcorn State University (1969-1989) and (1996-2003), inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010
  • Grace Lee Whitney (1930-2015), born Mary Ann Chase, an American actress and entertainer, best known for her role as Janice Rand, Captain Kirk's assistant on the original Star Trek television series
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  • Whitney Genealogy by Fred F. Whitney.
  • The Whitneys: An Informal Portrait, 1635-1975 by Edwin P. Hoyt.
  • Family of Ruth Whitney Lawrence by Georgene Sones.
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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: Volens et valens
Motto Translation: Willing and able.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
    3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    10. 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.
    11. ...

    The Whitney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Whitney 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 15 June 2016 at 12:45.

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