Witman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Witman comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name for a person with a pale complexion or blond hair. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. The name means "white man" [1] as far back as the 13th century when the poem Piers Plowman, (line 5195) notes "a Wightman of strengthe." [2]

Alternatively, the name could have been a baptismal name as in 'the son of Wigmann.' "I strongly suspect the baptismal origin is the correct one. " [3]

Early Origins of the Witman family

The surname Witman was first found in Oxfordhire. The variant Witmar (a personal name) was found in the Domesday Book of 1086. [4]

Withman (d. 1047?), Abbot of Ramsey, called also Leucander and Andrew, was a German by birth. [5]

Other early listings of the name or one of its variants include: Witeman fugitius who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1170; William Witman who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1230; Richard Wyteman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1243; and Stephen Whytman who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1243. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Agnes Wyteman in Oxfordshire; John Wyteman in Cambridgeshire; Thomas Wyteman in Oxfordshire and William Wytman in Huntingdonshire. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes Wyghman, Willelmus Wyghman, and Johannes Wyghman as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

The Scottish connection should now be explored. "Gilbert Wichtmann was rector of Lyne in 1527, and John Wychtman rendered to Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Peebles in 1563. Thomas Vychtman was witness in Perthshire, 1547, John Waichtman appears in Melrose, 1606. " [7]

Early History of the Witman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Witman research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1631, 1688, 1716, 1566, 1612, 1544 and are included under the topic Early Witman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Witman Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Witman has undergone many spelling variations, including Whiteman, Whitman, Wightman, Whyteman and others.

Early Notables of the Witman family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Edward Wightman (1566-1612), an English Baptist, executed at Lichfield for his views and was the last person to be burned at the stake for heresy in England. "He is said to have...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Witman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Witman family to Ireland

Some of the Witman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Witman migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Witman were among those contributors:

Witman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Witman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [8]
  • Migiel Witman, aged 65, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Pitter Witman, aged 21, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Ulrige Witman, aged 31, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Anna Witman, aged 16, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Witman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J Witman, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Witman (post 1700) +

  • George B. Witman, American biologist, George F. Booth Chair Professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jon Doyle Witman (b. 1972), former professional American NFL football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1996-2001)
  • William Witman II (1914-1978), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Togo (1964 to 1967)


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Langland, William, Piers the Ploughman. Translated by J.F. Goodridge. Penguin Books, 1959. Original copy was published in 13th century.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ 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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