Whittington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Whittington family

The surname Whittington was first found in Derbyshire at Whittington, a parish, in the union of Chesterfield, hundred of Scarsdale. There are others locals of the same name found in Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Northumberland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

To confuse the reader more, we draw your attention to the following quote under the township of Whittingham: "Warin de Whitington, who lived in the reign of John, held lands in the township, and his descendants held the manor in the reign of Edward II. The family long continued connected with the place; and a Richard Whittingham, who had two sons and a daughter, was living in the middle of the last century. [1700s]"

Richard Whittington (c. 1354-1423), the medieval merchant and politician who was the inspiration for the folk tale "Dick Whittington and His Cat" was from Gloucestershire, but his family claim descent from Staffordshire. Like the rhyme claims, he was in fact, Lord Mayor of London four times. [1]

The Whittington Stone on Highgate Hill in front of Whittington Hospital has a statue in honour of Whittington's legendary cat.

"A nefarious attempt has been made to rob him of his cherished and beneficent cat, whose existence has been explained away as a popular error. She is said to have been nothing more than a flat-bottomed boat, such as are commonly used in the Thames for carrying coal from the colliers to the wharf, then known as "cats," of which he owned a considerable number. With these, as is asserted, he built up his fortune. Others, again, maintain that his success in life " was the result of commercial transactions, called in the fourteenth century ' achatting.'" But, as if to refute these laboured and far-fetched derivations, an efifigy that curiously confirmed the old belief was brought to light in 1861. " In an old house, then pulled down in Westgate Street, Gloucester, was found a sculptured tablet intended to be placed over a doorway or chimney-piece, representing a boy in a long loose gown reaching to his feet, with a hood dropped on his shoulder, and fastened by a button to the throat, holding a cat in his arms. The Whittingtons had, according to old deeds, a tenement in Westgate Street in 1460." [2]

Early History of the Whittington family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whittington research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1480, 1553, 1354, 1423, 1397, 1406 and 1419 are included under the topic Early Whittington History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whittington Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Whitington, Whittington, Whyttington and others.

Early Notables of the Whittington family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Whittington (Wittinton) (c. 1480-c. 1553), an English grammarian; and Sir Richard Whittington (c. 1354-1423), the famous "Dick Whittington," was Lord Mayor of London in...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whittington Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whittington Ranking

In the United States, the name Whittington is the 2,050th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [3]


United States Whittington migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whittington Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Whittington, who arrived in New England in 1646 [4]
  • Francis Whittington, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • William Whittington, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Thomas and Mary Whittington, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • John Whittington, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Whittington Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Whittington, who settled in Maryland in 1774

Canada Whittington migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whittington Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Whittington U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [5]

Australia Whittington migration to Australia +

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

Whittington Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Whittington, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [6]
  • John Whittington, aged 28, a plumber, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [7]
  • George Ball Caswell Whittington, aged 35, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Caroline" [8]

New Zealand Whittington 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:

Whittington Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Child Whittington, (b. 1863), aged Infant, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [9]
  • Miss Lucy Whittington, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [9]
  • Mr. James Whittington, (b. 1823), aged 40, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [9]
  • Mrs. Mary Anne Whittington, (b. 1825), aged 38, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [9]
  • Mr. Jame Whittington, Jr., (b. 1840), aged 23, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Whittington migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [10]
Whittington Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Whittington who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1633
  • Stephen Whittington, aged 20, who landed in St Christopher in 1633 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Whittington (post 1700) +

  • William Marvin "Bill" Whittington (1949-8211), American racing driver from Lubbock, Texas
  • Sweet Dick Whittington (b. 1934), American disc jockey
  • Shayne Whittington (b. 1991), American basketball player
  • Richard Whittington, American Corporate Strategy Academic
  • Khadijah Whittington (b. 1986), American basketball player
  • Lauren Whittington, American journalist
  • Hulon B. Whittington (1921-1969), American officer, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in World War II
  • Jim Whittington (b. 1941), American televangelist
  • Harry Whittington (1915-1989), American novelist
  • Eydie Whittington, American politician, Member of the Council of the District of Columbia (1995-1997)
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Whittington 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: Sapere aude
Motto Translation: Dare to be wise.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  7. ^ South Australian Register Friday 26th August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Magdalena 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/magdalena1853.shtml
  8. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caroline 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/caroline1855.shtml
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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