Wither History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Wither surname finds its earliest origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name is derived from the Old Norse personal name Vidarr, which means, wide messenger. Wither is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronyms were formed when a son used his father's personal name as a surname, while others came from the personal names of famous religious and secular figures. In this case, the surname was originally derived from the given name of an ancestor of the bearer. The name could also have been derived from the Anglo Saxon Wihthere, meaning "a courageous warrior."

Early Origins of the Wither family

The surname Wither was first found in Norfolk and Lincolnshire where the first record of the name "occurs in the Domesday Book as a tenant prior to that census. " [1] [2]

Wyther cognomento Turnel was listed in Norfolk (1134-1140) as was Richerus filius Wither (1153-1168.) William Wither was listed in Lincolnshire c. 1160 and Geoffrey Wider was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1192. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 includes: Agnes Wyther in Cambridgeshire; Richard Wyther in Oxfordshire; Simon Wyther in Huntingdonshire; and Walter Wythor in Cambridgeshire. [2]

Early History of the Wither family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wither research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1588, 1667, 1657, 1720, 1707, 1708, 1708, 1675, 1661, 1664, 1664, 1669, 1669 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Wither History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wither Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Wither are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Wither include: Withers, Wither and others.

Early Notables of the Wither family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include George Wither (1588-1667), an English poet, pamphleteer, and satirist. He was born at Bentworth, near Alton, Hampshire, the eldest of three sons of George Wither. "The Wither family is said to have been originally settled in Lancashire, but five generations had been settled before the poet's birth in Hampshire. The eldest branch of the family was long...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wither Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wither family to Ireland

Some of the Wither family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wither migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Wither or a variant listed above:

Wither Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Symon Wither, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • Richard Wither, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Jane Wither, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [4]
  • Ralph Wither, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682-1683 [4]
Wither Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christopher Wither, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1761 [4]
Wither Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W A Wither, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

New Zealand Wither 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:

Wither Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Bigg Wither, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Wither, aged 33, a bricklayer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Wither, aged 31, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Wither, aged 7, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • James Wither, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wither (post 1700) +

  • George Wither (1588-1667), English poet, pamphleteer, and satirist


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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)


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