Wilhite History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The German state of Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Wilhite. In the medieval era, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the German lands were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known in Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. The colorful history of Brandenburg-Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany, provides a glimpse at the oldest origins of the Wilhite family.
Early Origins of the Wilhite family
The surname Wilhite was first found in northern Germany, where the name was associated in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would eventually emerge as belonging to a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs. Its use as a Surname must be traced back to its immense popularity as a first name early in the Middle Ages. Indeed, one chronicle mentions a knight's feast in Bayeux around 1171 A.D. in which alone 117 Wilhelms were listed as taking part.
Early History of the Wilhite family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilhite research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1709, 1845, 1812 and 1864 are included under the topic Early Wilhite History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wilhite Spelling Variations
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Wilhite include Wilhelm, Wilhem, Wilhelmi (Latinized), Wilhelmy, Wilhelmus (Latinized), Wilhelms, Wilhelmsen (Holstein), Wilhalm (Bavaria, Austria), Wilms (Friesland) and many more.
Early Notables of the Wilhite family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Wilhite Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Wilhite is the 4,276th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 
Wilhite migration to the United States +
The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Wilhites to arrive in North America, and among them were:
Wilhite Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John Wilhite, who arrived in Virginia in 1735 
- Michael Wilhite, who landed in Virginia in 1735 
- Tobias Wilhite, who arrived in Virginia in 1743 
Wilhite Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Roberta A. Wilhite, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Imperator" from Southampton, England 
- Mary Wilhite, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Imperator" from Southampton, England 
Contemporary Notables of the name Wilhite (post 1700) +
- Stephen E. Wilhite (1948-2022), American computer scientist who worked at CompuServe and was the Engineering Lead on the team that adapted the GIF image file format from the earlier Unisys-owned LZW algorithm
- Diana Wilhite, American former politician, Mayor of Spokane Valley, Washington
- Jodi Wilhite (b. 1980), American female weightlifter at the 2003 World Weightlifting Championships
- Irvin J. Wilhite (b. 1920), American former politician, Member of the North Dakota Senate (1967-1972)
- Steve Wilhite, American engineer at CompuServe who invented the GIF file format; he insists that the acronym is pronounced 'jif'; awarded the Webby Lifetime Achievement
- Robert Wilhite (b. 1952), American professional baseball player
- Jud Wilhite (b. 1971), American pastor, author, and speaker
- Jonathan Wilhite (b. 1984), American football cornerback
Related Stories +
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ 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)
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J66L-1TR : 6 December 2014), Roberta A. Wilhite, 08 Aug 1920; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Imperator, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J66L-1TP : 6 December 2014), Mary Wilhite, 08 Aug 1920; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Imperator, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).