Witherbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Witherbay is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Witherbay family lived at Wetherby in West Yorkshire, a market town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds. "The Saxon name of this town, whence the present is obviously deduced, was Wederbi, a term intended to designate its situation on a bend of the river Wharfe."  Today in the United States, there are two towns listed: Weatherby, Missouri; and Weatherby Lake, Missouri
Early Origins of the Witherbay family
The surname Witherbay was first found in West Yorkshire where one of the first records was of Ivo de Werreby in 1214; and Richard de Wetherby in 1302.  Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Robertas de Wethirby as living there at that time. 
Conjecturally the Wetherby family are descended from Ralph of Intwood, who held the lands and village of Intwood from Eudo, Steward to William the Conqueror. Intwood consisted of a church, a mill, nine horses, and thirty sheep, as recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. 
Wetherby is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wedrebi, thought to derive from wether- or ram-farm or else meaning "settlement on the bend of a river".  Local folklore has it that when heavy snow storms hit the county, Wetherby does not get as much because the "Weather Goes By."
Early History of the Witherbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Witherbay research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 146 and 1461 are included under the topic Early Witherbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Witherbay Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Witherbay were recorded, including Wetherby, Weatherby, Wetherbie, Wetherbee, Witherby and many more.
Early Notables of the Witherbay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Witherbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Witherbay family
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Witherbay arrived in North America very early: John Witherby (or Wetherby) who settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1630; John Wetherbee settled in New York in 1820; Bartholomew Wethersbie settled in Virginia in 1616.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)