Show ContentsWisehan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Wisehan surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a wise or learned person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English words wis, meaning wise or knowledgeable, and man, meaning man. [1]

The family could have ultimately been Norman in origin as "Wisman, of Falaise, Normandy, occurs t. William I. (during the reign of William I)" [2]

Early Origins of the Wisehan family

The surname Wisehan was first found in Essex where they "belonging to the distinguished families of Rivenhall, Northend, Great Baddow, Felstead, etc., and played an important part in the county and frequently served as high sheriffs." [3]

One of the first records of the family was Ranulph Wisman who witnessed a charter of Beatrix de Say, c. 1140, in favour of Waltham Abbey, Essex. Reginald Wisman, of Essex was listed in 1194. [4]

By the 13th century, records of the name were scattered as seen by the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which listed Roger Wyseinan, Oxfordshire; Alan Wysman, Cambridgeshire; and John Wysman, Oxfordshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Wysman and Petrus Wysman.

Further to the north in Scotland, Wisehan was "an old surname in Angus and Moray. Andrea Wysman witnessed excambion of the lands of Dolays Mychel in 1232, and in the following year attested a confirmation charter by Andrew, bishop of Moray. " [5]

Early History of the Wisehan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wisehan research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1232, 1296, 1305, 1285, 1393, 1484, 1630, 1656, 1612, 1513, 1629, 1688, 1677, 1685, 1622, 1676, 1643, 1632, 1712, 1661 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Wisehan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wisehan Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Wisehan has been spelled many different ways, including Wiseman, Wyseman, Wysman, Wisman and others.

Early Notables of the Wisehan family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Simon Wyssman, knighted in 1513 by King Henry 8th as a result of Sir John's bravery in action at the Battle of Spurs in the Hundred Years War; Sir Thomas Wiseman of Rivenhall, Essex; and his son, Sir William Wiseman, 1st Baronet (c.1629-1688), an...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wisehan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wisehan family to Ireland

Some of the Wisehan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wisehan family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Wisehans to arrive in North America: Henry and Catherine Wiseman, who settled in Maryland in 1634; John Wiseman, who settled in Virginia in 1652; Henry Wiseman, who settled in Maryland in 1719.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. 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) on Facebook