Whittacre is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Whittacre family once 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 Whittacre belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Whittacre family
The surname Whittacre was first found in Warwickshire
where the first record of the name was 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
"The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
One of the more interesting etymologies we found was the following: " local. The north part of a graveyard allotted to the poor was called Whittaker, from wite, a penalty, and acre,-a place of burial for criminals. A culprit who could not discharge the penalty or wite became a "witetheow," and was buried in the wite-acre. Bailey defines Whittaker "the north-east part of a flat or shoal-the middle ground." CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
We tend to believe that name was more likely "derived from a geographical locality. 'of the white acre.' " CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) as the former entry would suppose that there would be many such listings of the surname scattered throughout ancient Britain and this was clearly not the case.
Early History of the Whittacre family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whittacre research.Another 334 words (24 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 Whittacre History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Whittacre Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Whittacre family name include Whittaker, Whittakers, Whitaker, Whitacre and others.
Early Notables of the Whittacre family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Richard de Whitacre (c.1300-1375), Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley, he claimed direct descendancy for the aforementioned Johias Whitacre; William Whitaker (1548-1595), English Anglican theologian, Master of St. John's College, Cambridge; Henry Whitaker, English politician, Member... Another 103 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whittacre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Whittacre family to Ireland
Some of the Whittacre family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Whittacre family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Whittacre surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Whittacre Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- W Whittacre, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
The Whittacre Motto
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.