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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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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.

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


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wisdom research. Another 236 words (17 lines of text) covering the year 1295 is included under the topic Early Wisdom History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Wisdom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Wisdom family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • John Wisdom, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Thomas Wisdom settled in Barbados in 1682
  • John Wisdom settled in Pennsylvania in 1682

Wisdom Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Stephen Wisdom, who landed in New England in 1733
  • Catherine Wisdom settled in Pennsylvania in 1772
  • Solomon H Wisdom, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799

Wisdom Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Wisdom, aged 29, arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1845

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

Wisdom Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Wisdom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Catherine Wisdom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Alfred Wisdom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Elizabeth Wisdom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • John Nicholas Wisdom arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839


Wisdom Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


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

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  • 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
  • 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
  • Arthur John Terence Dibben Wisdom (1904-1993), British philosopher who extended the work of G.E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud
  • 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
  • Jack Wisdom (b. 1953), Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Olli Wisdom, British music artist


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Wisdom Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wisdom Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 May 2016 at 12:18.

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