Why is a name that first reached England
following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Why family lived in Gloucestershire
. The name, however, refers to the district of Guise
in France, where the family was resident prior to the Norman Conquest
in 1066. Aspley Guise is a village and civil parish located in central Bedfordshire.
Early Origins of the Why family
The surname Why was first found in Gloucestershire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Elmore in that shire, and were descended from Sir William Gyse who attended Duke William in his Conquest of England
at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. It is believed that Sir William first held the manor of Highnam from Gloucester Abbey but by the later marriage of Anselm Gyse to Magotta de Burgh (Burke,) daughter of the Earl of Kent
, he acquired the Lordship of both Highnam and Elmore in Gloucestershire.
Early History of the Why family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Why research.Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1632, 1705, 1731, 1629, 1621, 1624, 1644, 1724, 1653, 1683, 1617, 1670, 1654, 1695, 1678, 1732, 1701, 1769 and are included under the topic Early Why History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Why Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Why are characterized by many spelling variations
. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Why include Gyse, Guise, Guys, Guy, Gysse, Gyss, Gise, Gwyse and many more.
Early Notables of the Why family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Guy (died 1629), an English merchant adventurer from Bristol, colonist and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1624, the first Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland who led the first attempt to establish a colony... Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Why Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Why family to Ireland
Some of the Why family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 59 words (4 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 Why family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England
at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia
in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Why, or a variant listed above: Nicholas, Jane and daughter Mary Guy who settled in New England
in 1638; Robert Guy settled in Virginia in 1619; a year before the "Mayflower".