Wisdom History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wisdom is derived from the Old English word "wisdom" which means "wisdom, learning." Some of the first records of the name reveal Durand Wisdom who was listed in a census in 1198 and Gilbert Wysdom who was listed in another census in 1243.

Early Origins of the Wisdom family

The surname Wisdom was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times at Cornwood in that shire, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Reginald of Cornwood was tenant of these lands from the Norman noble, Count of Mortain, and included three unbroken mares, ten cattle, and twenty two goats.

Early History of the Wisdom family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wisdom research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1295, 1568 and 1623 are included under the topic Early Wisdom History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wisdom Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wisdom, Wisedom, Wisbom, Wistow and others.

Early Notables of the Wisdom family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Robert Wisdom (d. 1568), Archdeacon of Ely who probably belonged to the family of that name settled at Burford, Oxford, where one Simon Wisdom...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wisdom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wisdom family to Ireland

Some of the Wisdom family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 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 Wisdom migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wisdom Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Wisdom, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [1]
  • John Wisdom, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [1]
  • Thomas Wisdom, who settled in Barbados in 1682
  • John Wisdom, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682
Wisdom Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Stephen Wisdom, who landed in New England in 1733 [1]
  • Catherine Wisdom, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1772
  • Solomon H Wisdom, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799 [1]
Wisdom Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Wisdom, aged 29, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1845 [1]

Canada Wisdom migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wisdom Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Hester Wisdom, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Obediah Wisdom, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Wisdom migration to Australia +

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

Wisdom Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Wisdom, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [2]
  • Catherine Wisdom, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [2]
  • Alfred Wisdom, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [2]
  • Elizabeth Wisdom, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [2]
  • John Nicholas Wisdom, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wisdom 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:

Wisdom Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Wisdom, aged 33, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • Emma Wisdom, aged 29, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • William Wisdom, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • WIlliam C. Wisdom, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • Henry Wisdom, aged 18, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Wisdom (post 1700) +

  • John Minor Wisdom (1905-1999), American Republican politician from Louisiana, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom [3]
  • Robert Wisdom (b. 1953), American actor, best known for his roles in Face/Off (1997), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Ray (2004)
  • Andre Alexander Shaquille Wisdom (b. 1993), English footballer
  • Sir Norman Wisdom OBE (1915-2010), English BAFTA Award winning comedian, clown, singer and actor; his last appearances were on Last of the Summer Wine and Coronation Street
  • Sir Robert Wisdom KCMG (1830-1888), born in Blackburn, Lancashire, he emigrated to Australia in 1834 with his parents and rose to become Attorney General of New South Wales
  • Arthur John Terence Dibben Wisdom (1904-1993), British philosopher who extended the work of G.E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud
  • Jack Wisdom (b. 1953), Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Olli Wisdom, British music artist


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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