Wittewithay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Wittewithay was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wittewithay family lived in Durham, at Whitworth.
Early Origins of the Wittewithay family
The surname Wittewithay was first found in Durham at Whitworth, a parochial chapelry, partly in the union of Auckland.
"According to the Boldon book, this manor was held by Thomas de Acley, by the service of a quarter of a knight's fee; it was afterwards possessed by the Whytworths and the Nevills, and subsequently by the Shafto family. " 
Alternatively, Whitworth, a chapelry in the parish of Rochdale, Lancashire may be a possibility. "The manor was granted by 'divers donators' to the convent of Stanlow in Cheshire, in the reign of John; among these donors was Sir John de Elland, parcener of the lordship of Rochdale, who gave one moiety of the manor. " 
Another source notes "Whitworth, Lancashire was Whyteword in the 13th cent., Wyteworth and Whiteworth in the 14th century. " 
As the Durham locale is clearly the oldest and mention is made of the family holding the manor in very early days, we suggest that this locale is the more likely place of origin for the family.
As to confirm this supposition, Lower notes "chapelries in Durham and Lancashire. The Whitworths of co. Durham were descendants of the Shaftos of Northumberland. " 
Early records of the family are very scant, but we did find Elyas de Witewurde listed in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey in 1194 and John de Whiteworth in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1336. 
Early History of the Wittewithay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wittewithay research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1619, 1646, 1635, 1815, 1675, 1725, 1704 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Wittewithay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wittewithay Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Witworth, Whitworth and others.
Early Notables of the Wittewithay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Charles Whitworth, 1st Baron Whitworth (1675-1725), a British diplomat, Ambassador Extraordinary to Russia in 1704. He was the...
Migration of the Wittewithay family to Ireland
Some of the Wittewithay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wittewithay family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wittewithay or a variant listed above: Alice Whitworth and her husband who settled in New England in 1775; Joshua Whitworth settled in Philadelphia in 1859; Sarah Whitworth arrived in New York in 1823..
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.