Show ContentsWishard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Wishard as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name someone who lived in Stirling.

Early Origins of the Wishard family

The surname Wishard was first found in Stirlingshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. William Wishart had a grant of the mill from the Abbey of Cambus Kenneth in the year 1200, and was associated with lands at Conon and Tulloch in 1254. Another William Wishart was a monk at St. Andrews in 1250. The family also held the lands of Kenny Murchardyn in 1279. Sir John Wishart rendered homage in 1296 to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland. 1

"Andrew Wycchard (Wyschard or Wychard) of Scotland, a prisoner of war in Hereford Castle, 1305-07. George Wischart was burned for heresy at St. Andrews, 1545/6, and a later George Wischart was first bishop of Edinburgh after the Restoration and private chaplain and biographer of the marquess of Montrose." 1

"The family are of ancient date in Forfarshire, and are descended from Robert, a natural son of David, Earl of Huntingdon, who having gone on a crusade to the Holy Land, was called Guishart, on account of the slaughter he made of the Saracens. Adam Wishart of Logie, was living in 1272." 2

"Some ancient writers say, that Robert, son of David, Earl of Huntingdon, took on him the cross, and distinguished himself in the Holy Land, where, from his gallant exploits against the Saracens, he received the name of Guis-hart, that is, Wise-heart, now Wishart." 3

Robert Wishart (d. 1316), was Bishop of Glasgow and belonged to the family of Wishart or Wiseheart of Pittarrow, Forfarshire, and was either nephew or cousin of William Wishart, bishop of St. Andrews and chancellor of Scotland. 4

Much further to the south in England, and much earlier Wigheard, Wighard, or Vighard (d. 664), was Archbishop-elect of Canterbury, a Kentish priest and one of Deusdedit's clergy. "He was nominated to the archbishopric with the assent of the English church by the kings Oswy and Egbert, and was sent, bearing gold and silver vessels, to Rome for consecration. He died of the plague in Rome in 664, before his consecration. " 4

In Bedfordshire, Wishardus Leidt was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Bedfordshire in 1176 and about the same time, Walter Wiscard, Wishard was found in the Pipe Rolls for Surrey in 1162 and 1169. Rannulf Wichard was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Essex in 1212. 5

Early History of the Wishard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wishard research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1513, 1538, 1546, 1576, 1592, 1593, 1596, 1597, 1599, 1629, 1649 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Wishard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wishard Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Wishard has been spelled Wishart, Wishard, Wychart, Wisehart, Wisheart, Wiseheart and many more.

Early Notables of the Wishard family

Notable amongst the family at this time was George Wishart (c.1513-1546) famous reformer and martyr. In 1538, while a schoolmaster at a grammar school in Montrose, he incurred a charge of heresy for teaching the Greek New Testament. After spending some time on the continent, he was sent back to Scotland by Henry VIII to negotiate a marriage contract between Prince Edward and Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1546 he was again arrested and burned at St. Andrews. He was the first to inspire John Knox. 4Sir John Wishart (d. 1576)...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wishard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wishard family to Ireland

Some of the Wishard 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.

United States Wishard migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Wishard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • L.W. Wishard, aged 41, originally from Liverpool, who arrived in New York in 1892 aboard the ship "Majestic (1890)" from Liverpool & Queenstown 6
  • Mrs. L. W. Wishard, aged 32, originally from Liverpool, who arrived in New York in 1892 aboard the ship "Majestic (1890)" from Liverpool & Queenstown 6
  • Luther D. Wishard, aged 40, who arrived in New York City in 1894 aboard the ship "Lucania" from Liverpool, England 6
  • Maude C. Wishard, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Lucania" from Liverpool & Queenstown 6
Wishard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Wishard, who arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "Ryndam" from Boulogne 6
  • Duvight Wishard, aged 37, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "France" from Le Havre, France 6

Canada Wishard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wishard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Alexander Wishard was registered as a soldier at St. John's, Newfoundland in 1778 7

Contemporary Notables of the name Wishard (post 1700) +

  • D. Roy Wishard, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940, 1948 8
  • Albert W. Wishard, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Indiana, 1897-1901 8

  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. Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  7. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from on Facebook