Witters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Witters is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the Old Norse personal name Vidarr, which means, wide messenger. Witters 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 Witters family

The surname Witters 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 Witters family

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

Witters 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 Witters has undergone many spelling variations, including Withers, Wither and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Witters family to Ireland

Some of the Witters 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 Witters 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 Witters were among those contributors:

Witters Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Gottfried Witters, who arrived in America in 1780 [4]
Witters Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Witters, aged 46, who settled in America, in 1914
  • Katherine Witters, aged 39, who landed in America, in 1914
  • Herbert J. Witters, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • Agnes Witters, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States, in 1923
  • Margaret Witters, aged 21, who immigrated to America, in 1923
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Witters 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:

Witters Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Witters, aged 31, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Annie Witters, aged 26, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Robert Witters, aged 1, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Witters (post 1700) +

  • Harry W. Witters, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Vermont 2nd District, 1920, 1928; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Vermont, 1944; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Vermont, 1948, 1956
  • Grace B. Witters, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Vermont, 1924, 1932; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Vermont, 1948
  • George Witters (1876-1934), notable New Zealand farmer, horticulturist and conservationist


  1. ^ Lowe, 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. ^ 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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