Wigmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Wigmore family name to the British Isles. They lived in Herefordshire, at Wigmore. The name of this place derives from the Old English words wicga, meaning moving, and mor, meaning marsh, and probably indicated that the bearer of the name lived near a shallow, swampy part of a river. [1]

Early Origins of the Wigmore family

The surname Wigmore was first found in Herefordshire and Worcestershire which both date back to the Domesday Book [2] and were listed as Wigemore in that register. Wigmore is also a village in the Unitary Authority of Medway, Kent that dates back to 1275 when is was listed as Wydemere, from an Old English "wid" + "mere" meaning "broad pool". [1] The family conjecturally descend from Ralph de Mortimer, who built Wigmore Castle c. 1070 on the River Teme in Hereford. Wigmore Abbey, located nearby, was an Augustinian abbey with a grange and was founded by Ranulph de Mortimer (d. c. 1104), who was known as Lord of Wigmore. The abbey and the castle are both in ruins today. The exact relationship between the Wigmores and the Mortimers is unclear. Today, Wigmore is a new estate situated on the outskirts of Luton near Luton Airport, Bedfordshire.

Early History of the Wigmore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wigmore research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1362, 1557, 1397, 1566, 1390, 1468, 1581 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Wigmore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wigmore Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Wigmore, Wigmer, Wiggmore and others.

Early Notables of the Wigmore family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wigmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wigmore family to Ireland

Some of the Wigmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wigmore migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Wigmore or a variant listed above:

Wigmore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elias Wigmore, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [3]
Wigmore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Wigmore, aged 21, who arrived in Georgia in 1737 [3]
  • Felex Wigmore, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 [3]
  • Hance Felex Wigmore, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1743 [3]
  • Jacob Wigmore, who landed in New Jersey in 1762 [3]
Wigmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Wigmore, aged 4, who landed in America, in 1895
Wigmore Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Wigmore, aged 59, who landed in America from Northampton, in 1903
  • Elizabeth Wigmore, aged 58, who landed in America from Northampton, in 1903
  • Kate Wigmore, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States from Northampton, in 1903
  • Mrs. John Wigmore, who landed in America, in 1908
  • R. G. Wigmore, aged 28, who settled in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Wigmore migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wigmore Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Florence Ball Wigmore, aged 49, who settled in Hamilton, Canada, in 1920
  • Helena Ball Wigmore, aged 19, who immigrated to Hamilton, Canada, in 1920

New Zealand Wigmore 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:

Wigmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. R. Wigmore, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Diana" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th July 1840 [4]
  • Robert Wigmore, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1841
  • E. Wigmore, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Escocesa" in 1876

Contemporary Notables of the name Wigmore (post 1700) +

  • Ann Wigmore (1909-1994), American Lithuanian holistic health practitioner, whole foods advocate and doctor of Divinity
  • John Henry Wigmore (1863-1943), American jurist who developed the Wigmore chart
  • B. Joseph Wigmore (b. 1892), English professional footballer
  • Cuthbert "Clive" Wigmore (1892-1969), English professional association football player of the 1920s
  • Lucy Wigmore, New Zealand stage and screen actress
  • Virginia Claire "Gin" Wigmore (b. 1986), New Zealand singer-songwriter
  • Gillian Wigmore (b. 1976), Canadian poet and fiction writer
  • Ben Wigmore (b. 1982), Australian silver medalist baseball player at the 2004 Summer Olympics


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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