Witte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Witte emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense German territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. Brandenburg-Prussia was essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.

Early Origins of the Witte family

The surname Witte was first found in the territory of Neumark east of the Electorate of Brandenburg, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society that played a prominent role throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches in Northern Germany, and become recognized for its participation in social, economic, and political affairs.

Early History of the Witte family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Witte research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1795, 1816, 1660, 1717, 1771 and 1837 are included under the topic Early Witte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Witte Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Witte include Witte, Witter, Wittek (Silesia), Witt (Holland) and others.

Early Notables of the Witte family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Witte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Witte migration to the United States +

Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Witte Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Witte, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [1]
Witte Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johann Diedrich Witte, who settled in Germantown in 1753
  • Jobst Witte, who landed in America in 1780 [1]
  • Hermann Witte, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782 [1]
Witte Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Erich Witte, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [1]
  • Henry Witte, aged 39, who landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1840 [1]
  • Johan G H Witte, aged 25, who landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1840 [1]
  • Joh Heinr Witte, who arrived in America in 1844 [1]
  • Gustavus Adolphus Witte, who arrived in New York, NY in 1844 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Witte Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Wilhelm Witte, aged 20, who arrived in New York, NY in 1901 [1]
  • Albert Witte, who settled in America from Brannschweiz, Germany, in 1910
  • Adolf Witte, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Nienberg, Germany, in 1912
  • Agnes Witte, aged 34, who landed in America from Kehe, Germany, in 1916
  • Adele Witte, aged 22, who immigrated to America from Backhorst, Germany, in 1924
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Witte migration to Australia +

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

Witte Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • R. or F. Witte, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1847 aboard the ship "Hermann von Beckerath" [2]

New Zealand Witte 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:

Witte Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane Witte, (b. 1861), aged Infant, German settler from Oldenburg, Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [3]
  • Mr. Barnard Witte, (b. 1822), aged 39, German carpenter from Oldenburg, Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [3]
  • Mrs. Mary Witte, (b. 1833), aged 28, German settler from Oldenburg, Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [3]
  • Mr. Barnard Witte, Jr., (b. 1855), aged 6, German settler from Oldenburg, Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [3]
  • Miss Mary Witte, (b. 1857), aged 4, German settler from Oldenburg, Germany travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Witte (post 1700) +

  • William Henry Witte (1817-1876), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 4th District, 1853-55
  • Wheeler J. Witte, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Dickinson District, 1944
  • Elmer Fredrick Witte (b. 1896), American Republican politician, Served in the U.S. Navy during World War I; Lawyer; Chair of Pawnee County Republican Party, 1940
  • Charles A. Witte Sr. (b. 1893), American Republican politician, Real estate business; Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1945-50; Member of Missouri State Senate 12th District, 1951-52
  • Carl Witte, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1964
  • Leslie "Les" Witte (1911-1973), nicknamed "Beanie" and "One Grand Witte", All-American basketball player for the Wyoming Cowboys in 1932 and 1934
  • William Henry Witte (1817-1876), American politician, Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Terry L. Witte (b. 1952), American attorney and politician, former Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives
  • Luke Witte (b. 1950), American basketball player
  • Philip Witte (b. 1984), German two-time gold and silver medalist field hockey player, Olympic Champion at the 2008 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HERMANN VON BECKERATH 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847HermanVonBeckerath.htm
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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