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

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

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


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.

First found in Durham where they held a family seat from ancient times, in 1066.


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.


Another 27 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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.


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


  • Kathy Whitworth (b. 1939), American LPGA professional golfer
  • Johnny Whitworth (b. 1975), American actor, known for his roles in Limitless (2011) and 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  • George F. Whitworth (1816-1907), American Presbyterian missionary, founder of Whitworth College (now Whitworth University) in 1890
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stephen "Steve" Whitworth (b. 1952), English former professional footballer
  • Neil Anthony Whitworth (b. 1972), English former football defender
  • Robert Whitworth (1734-1799), English land surveyor and engineer from Sowerby, England
  • William Allen Whitworth (1840-1905), English mathematician and a priest in the Church of England
  • George H. Whitworth (b. 1896), English footballer who played from 1920 through 1928



  • 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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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Whitworth Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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 4 February 2015 at 12:40.

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