Wightman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Wightman. It was given to a person with a pale complexion or blond hair. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. The name means "white man" [1] as far back as the 13th century when the poem Piers Plowman, (line 5195) notes "a Wightman of strengthe." [2]

Alternatively, the name could have been a baptismal name as in 'the son of Wigmann.' "I strongly suspect the baptismal origin is the correct one. " [3]

Early Origins of the Wightman family

The surname Wightman was first found in Oxfordhire. The variant Witmar (a personal name) was found in the Domesday Book of 1086. [4]

Withman (d. 1047?), Abbot of Ramsey, called also Leucander and Andrew, was a German by birth. [5]

Other early listings of the name or one of its variants include: Witeman fugitius who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1170; William Witman who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1230; Richard Wyteman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1243; and Stephen Whytman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1243. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Agnes Wyteman in Oxfordshire; John Wyteman in Cambridgeshire; Thomas Wyteman in Oxfordshire and William Wytman in Huntingdonshire. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes Wyghman, Willelmus Wyghman, and Johannes Wyghman as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

The Scottish connection should now be explored. "Gilbert Wichtmann was rector of Lyne in 1527, and John Wychtman rendered to Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Peebles in 1563. Thomas Vychtman was witness in Perthshire, 1547, John Waichtman appears in Melrose, 1606. " [7]

Early History of the Wightman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wightman research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1631, 1688, 1716, 1566, 1612, 1544 and are included under the topic Early Wightman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wightman Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Wightman has appeared include Whiteman, Whitman, Wightman, Whyteman and others.

Early Notables of the Wightman family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Edward Wightman (1566-1612), an English Baptist, executed at Lichfield for his views and was the last person to be burned at the stake for heresy in England. "He is said to have...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wightman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wightman family to Ireland

Some of the Wightman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Wightman migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Wightman arrived in North America very early:

Wightman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anto Wightman, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [8]
  • John Wightman, who arrived in Rhode Island in 1654 [8]
  • James Wightman, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [8]
Wightman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Martin Wightman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [8]
  • Jerrig Wightman, aged 25, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1741 [8]
Wightman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Wightman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1830 [8]
  • Jacob Wightman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [8]
  • Joseph Wightman, who landed in New York in 1844 [8]
  • August Wightman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1862 [8]

Canada Wightman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wightman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Col. George Wightman U.E. (b. 1726) born in Rhode Island, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in England in 1820 [9]
  • Lieut. John Wightman U.E. (b. 1748) born in North Kingston, Rhode Island, USA who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 son of Col. George Wightman, father to Capt. John Wightman, he died in 1819 [9]

Australia Wightman migration to Australia +

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

Wightman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Wightman (post 1700) +

  • W. Sam Wightman, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 3rd District, 1912 [12]
  • William Judson Wightman (b. 1856), American Republican politician, Chair of Grand Isle County Republican Party, 1909-10; Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Alburg, 1910 [12]
  • Stillman K. Wightman, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Middletown, 1835-37; Member of Connecticut State Senate 18th District, 1839-40 [12]
  • Joseph M. Wightman (1812-1885), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, 1861-62; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1864 [12]
  • John Wightman, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Southington, 1827, 1830-31, 1838 [12]
  • Joseph H. Wightman, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Essex County, 1877 [12]
  • Hiram Wightman, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Inkster, Michigan, 1871 [12]
  • Grant Wightman, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Utah, 1972 [12]
  • Elisha D. Wightman, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 7th District, 1861 [12]
  • David Chase Wightman (b. 1892), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1934-36 [12]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Langland, William, Piers the Ploughman. Translated by J.F. Goodridge. Penguin Books, 1959. Original copy was published in 13th century.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHATHAM 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/chatham1852.shtml.
  11. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/dirigo1854.shtml.
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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