Wilderspin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Wilderspin surname are thought to have lived in the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The name Wilderspin was given to someone who lived in various places throughout Scotland. It may have been a habitation name from a now lost place name, thought to come from the Old English terms wether, which means "sheep," and "spong," or from spang, which means "a narrow strip of land." [1] Habitation names form a broad category of surnames that were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Wilderspin family

The surname Wilderspin was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland.

The first record of the family was found c. 1290 when Roger Wythirspon, clerk, attested a grant by James the High Steward of lands in Renfrew. [1]

The family acquired business interests in Glasgow, and also were tenants of the Cupar Angus Abbey.

In 1496, a payment was thus noted: "Widderspune the foulare that tald talis and brocht foulis to the king." Later, John Wyddirspwn was tenant of Dalbeth in 1518 and a tenant of Cupar-Angus Abbey, c. 1500, was named Wychthirspone. [1]

Further to the south in England, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Adam Wytherpyn and Adam Wyerpin in Norfolk. Later in 1379, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls listed Johannes Withspone and Willelmus Wythspone. The reference The History of Norfolk notes John Wetherpyn was vicar of Thrickby, Norfolk in 1419. [2] Interestingly, the last author comments: "I can make nothing out of this surname, and leave it to the consideration of more enlightened students. I can furnish them with materials, but that is all. My Yorkshire references clearly represent some of its ancestors." [2] We can only presume that this learned gentleman had not considered Yorkshire's close proximity to Scotland and a presumable migration from there.

Early History of the Wilderspin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilderspin research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1521, 1546, 1547, 1643, 1646, 1722, 1794, 1768, 1850, 1921, 1894, 1792, 1866, 1792, 1820 and 1873 are included under the topic Early Wilderspin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilderspin Spelling Variations

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Wilderspin has appeared as Wotherspoon, Witherspoon, Weatherspoon, Wetherspoon and many more.

Early Notables of the Wilderspin family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Samuel Wilderspin (1792?-1866), joint-founder of the infant school system in England, was the son of Alexander Wilderspin, and was born at Hornsey, Middlesex, in or about 1792. He began life as a clerk in a merchant's office, but left this occupation to devote himself to the development of infant schools. He was not the originator of the system, the credit of which is generally given to Oberlin, pastor of Waldbach in Alsace, and, in Great Britain, to Robert Owen of New Lanark. But when Lord Brougham and...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilderspin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wilderspin family

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Grizell Wotherspoon settled in East New Jersey in 1686; she also spelt her name Witherspoon; Elizabeth, Henry, James, John, Margaret Witherspoon, all arrived in New England in 1804.

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilderspin (post 1700) +

  • Charles Wilderspin, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 11th District, 1978; Chair of Alger County Democratic Party, 2003 [3]
  • Samuel Wilderspin (1791-1866), English educator known for his pioneering work in young children schools; he believed a child should be encouraged to learn through experience, often credited with the invention of the playground [4]
  • Clive Wilderspin, Australian tennis player at the 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954 Australian Championships

The Wilderspin Motto +

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: Deo juvante
Motto Translation: By God’s assistance.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 31 Jan. 2019

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