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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Whitworth is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Whitworth family lived in Durham, at Whitworth.


The surname Whitworth was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from ancient times, in 1066.

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Witworth, Whitworth and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitworth research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1815, 1st , 1675, 1725 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Whitworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Whitworth family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Whitworth or a variant listed above:

Whitworth Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Whitworth, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Abraham Whitworth, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Alice Whitworth and her husband who settled in New England in 1775

Whitworth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Sarah Whitworth arrived in New York in 1823
  • Edmund Whitworth, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Robert Whitworth, who landed in Texas in 1857
  • Joshua Whitworth settled in Philadelphia in 1859
  • Atkinson Whitworth, aged 26, landed in New York in 1864
  • ...

Whitworth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Whitworth, aged 27, a bricklayer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"

Whitworth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Whitworth, aged 36, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Emma Whitworth, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Robert Whitworth, aged 33, a shoemaker, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lauderdale" in 1874

  • George F. Whitworth (1816-1907), American Presbyterian missionary, founder of Whitworth College (now Whitworth University) in 1890
  • Johnny Whitworth (b. 1975), American actor, known for his roles in Limitless (2011) and 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  • Kathy Whitworth (b. 1939), American LPGA professional golfer
  • George H. Whitworth (b. 1896), English footballer who played from 1920 through 1928
  • William Allen Whitworth (1840-1905), English mathematician and a priest in the Church of England
  • Robert Whitworth (1734-1799), English land surveyor and engineer from Sowerby, England
  • Neil Anthony Whitworth (b. 1972), English former football defender
  • Stephen "Steve" Whitworth (b. 1952), English former professional footballer
  • Air Commodore John Nicholas Haworth Whitworth CB, DSO, DFC and Bar, RAF (1912-1974), Royal Air Force pilot, Chief of Staff of the Ghana Air Force
  • Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887), English engineer and entrepreneur, inventor of the Whitworth Rifle, a single-shot muzzle-loaded rifle used by the Confederacy in the American Civil War, co-founder of Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, a major British manufacturing company in the late 1800s and early 1900s
  • ...

  • Isaac Towell & his Family: Including Towell, McAdams, Whotworth, Shaw, Fitzgerald & Others, 1764-1990 by Roy H. Towell.

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: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.


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    Other References

    1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    11. ...

    The Whitworth Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Whitworth 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 February 2016 at 10:14.

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