Withers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The generations and branches of the Withers family share a name that has its roots in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name Withers comes from the Old Norse personal name Vidarr, which means, wide messenger. Withers 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 Withers family

The surname Withers 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 Withers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Withers 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 Withers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Withers Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Withers include Withers, Wither and others.

Early Notables of the Withers 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 Withers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Withers World Ranking

In the United States, the name Withers is the 2,890th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [4] However, in Australia, the name Withers is ranked the 891st most popular surname with an estimated 4,412 people with that name. [5] And in New Zealand, the name Withers is the 885th popular surname with an estimated 826 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Withers family to Ireland

Some of the Withers 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 Withers migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Withers or a variant listed above:

Withers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Withers, who settled in New Hampshire in 1630
  • Thomas Withers, who landed in New England in 1631 [7]
  • Stephen Withers, who arrived in Virginia in 1634 [7]
  • John Withers, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • James Withers, who landed in Maryland or Virginia in 1666 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Withers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Withers, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [7]
  • Sarah Withers, who landed in Maryland in 1740 [7]
  • Robert Withers, who landed in Mississippi in 1799 [7]
  • Jesse Withers, who landed in Mississippi in 1799 [7]
  • Hollenworth Withers, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799 [7]
Withers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Withers, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [7]
  • Mary Withers, who arrived in New York in 1823 with five children
  • Margaret Withers, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [7]
  • Jane Withers, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1862 [7]

Canada Withers migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Withers Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Withers, who settled in St. John's Newfoundland in 1832 [8]

Australia Withers migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

  • Mr. Thomas Withers, (b. 1819), aged 26, English waterman who was convicted in Wells, Somerset, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "David Malcolm" on 13th May 1845, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island
Withers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Withers, British Convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. John Withers, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. Richard Withers, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [11]
  • Mr. Abraham Withers, English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • James Withers, aged 24, a sawyer, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Withers 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:

Withers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr Withers, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843 aboard the ship Ursula
  • Mr. Edward Withers, British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [14]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Withers, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [14]
  • Mr. Edward Withers, (b. 1842), aged 18, English domestic servant from Berkshire travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [14]
  • Benjamin Withers, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "African" in 1860
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Withers migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Withers Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Withers, who settled in Barbados in 1654

Contemporary Notables of the name Withers (post 1700) +

  • William Harrison "Bill" Withers Jr. (1938-2020), American three-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and musician, best known for "Ain't No Sunshine" (1971), "Grandma's Hands" (1971), "Use Me" (1972), "Lean on Me" (1972), "Lovely Day" (1977), and "Just the Two of Us" (1980), inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015
  • Jane Withers (1926-2021), American actress and children's radio show host, one of the most popular child stars in Hollywood in the 1930s and early 1940s, with her films ranking in the top ten list for box-office gross in 1937 and 1938, known for her work with Shirley Temple, Disney and many more,Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
  • Ernest Withers (1922-2007), American freelance photographer famous for his black and white images
  • David "Pick" Withers (b. 1948), original drummer for the rock band Dire Straits
  • Alexander Scott Withers (1792-1865), American author of Chronicles of Border Warfare (1831)
  • Jones Mitchell Withers (1814-1890), United States Army officer who fought during the Mexican–American War and later as a Confederate major general during the American Civil War
  • Robert Enoch Withers (1821-1907), American physician, military officer, newspaperman, politician and diplomat
  • Mark Withers (b. 1947), American actor
  • Frederick Clarke Withers (1828-1901), English-born, American architect
  • Everett Withers (b. 1963), American football coach
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Stanley Charles Withers, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. James Withers, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking and was evacuated [17]
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. Caleb Withers (b. 1857), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died


  1. ^ Lower, 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HMS BUFFALO 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Buffalo.htm
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  17. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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