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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

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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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.

First found in Herefordshire where Harold de Whitney held the Lordship of Whitney from St. Guthlac's Church.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitney research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Whitney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Whitney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 120 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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


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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  • 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
  • William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894), American ling Uist, philologist, and editor of The Century Dictionary
  • William Collins Whitney (1841-1904), American political leader and financier, progenitor of the prominent Whitney family, 31st Secretary of the Navy (1885-1889)
  • Hassler Whitney (1907-1989), American mathematician, co-winner of the 1982 Wolf Prize in Mathematics
  • Ashley Whitney (b. 1979), American gold medalist Olympic swimmer
  • John Hay Whitney (1904-1982), American public official, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, Ambassador to Great Britain (1957-61)
  • Josiah Dwight Whitney (1819-1960), American geologist
  • Asa Whitney (1797-1872), American merchant, who planned and unsuccessfully petitioned Congress for a transcontinental railroad
  • Eli Whitney (1765-1825), American inventor of the cotton gin

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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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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. 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.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. 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 11 May 2015 at 16:08.

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