Show ContentsWitter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Witter 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 Witter family

The surname Witter 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 Witter family

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

Witter Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Witter include Witte, Witter, Wittek (Silesia), Witt (Holland) and others.

Early Notables of the Witter family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Witter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Witter Ranking

In the United States, the name Witter is the 6,415th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Witter migration to the United States +

Since medieval times, the state of Prussia has played an important part in the history of Germany. The state's military powers were historically very strong, and endured until after the Second World War, when the territory was broken up and divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. A spurt of migration followed, with some Prussians going elsewhere in Europe and many others crossing the ocean to North America. Most entered the United States through Philadelphia. Some remained there, while more moved on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others traveled to Canada and settled Ontario and the prairie provinces. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Witter or a variant listed above:

Witter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Witter, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1629 [2]
  • Thomas Witter, who arrived in Maryland in 1672 [2]
  • Ebenezer Witter, who arrived in Connecticut in 1699 [2]
Witter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Geo Heinrich Witter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [2]
Witter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W H Witter, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

Australia Witter migration to Australia +

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

Witter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Tammy Witter, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

Contemporary Notables of the name Witter (post 1700) +

  • William Witter (b. 1804), American Democratic Party politician, Physician; Member of Connecticut State Senate 13th District, 1847
  • Riley B. Witter, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brooklyn, 1906
  • Lawrence O. Witter, American politician, Representative from Massachusetts 14th District, 1936
  • James C. Witter, American politician, Representative from New York 8th District, 1896
  • Herman R. Witter, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Canton, Ohio, 1920-22, 1930-31 ; Candidate in primary for Governor of Ohio, 1928
  • Isaac P. Witter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1916; Member of Wisconsin State Senate, 1917-19
  • George H. Witter, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1896; Member of New York State Senate 44th District, 1909-10
  • Daniel Parrish Witter (1852-1930), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Tioga County, 1896-1900, 1916-29
  • Daniel Witter, American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Colorado Territory, 1868-70
  • Amos Witter, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Plainfield, 1832, 1835
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. James W.C. Witter, aged 31, English Second Class Smoking Room Steward from Hampshire, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 11 [3]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook