The Whittingham name
The Whittingham surname is of
Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any
of the various places named with the Olde English pre 7th
Century personal name "Hwita" from "hwit", white, with "ing",
people of, and "ham", homestead, settlement; hence, "the
settlement of Hwita's people". These places include: Whittingham
Lancashire, recorded respectively as "Hwittingham" in
an "Ecclesiastical History of Durham", dated 1104, and as
"Witingheham" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Lancashire;
Wittenham in Berkshire, appearing as "Withennam" and "Wittanhamm"
in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 862 - 901; and Whittinghame
in East Lothian.
Locational names were originally given
to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification
to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere.
Early examples of the surname include: Gilbert de Whitingham,
charter witness (Durham, 1214); Petrus de Wyttigham (Newbottle
Abbey, Durham, 1245); and Thomas de Whytenham (London, 1339).
In the modern idiom the name is spelt Whittingham, Whittenham
and Wittenham. In 1608, a William Whittingham, of Cheshire,
was entered in the Oxford University Register.
Coat of Arms
One of the earliest (circa 1567) Coats
of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with a
red lion rampant, over all a green fess. The first recorded
spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vhtred
de Witingeham, which was dated 1163, in the "Pipe Rolls
of Lancashire, during the reign of Henry 11, known as "The
Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary
when governments introduced personal taxation. In England
this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames
in every country have continued to "develop" often leading
to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
The Whittingham coat of arms that is
shown in this site is my interpretation of the officially
documented coat as found in the "Burkes General Armory"
which states "Ar. A Lion Ramp, GU. Over All A [Fess]
Which when translated states that it is "silver with a red
lion attacking over all a green horizontal band."
The name emerged as a notable English
family name in the county of Lancaster, where they were
seated at "Witingheha" which was the King's land.
This later changed to "Whittingham" where Whittingham House
was built. By the 14th century the Whittingham family had
branched out to Newsam Hall, which later formed part of
the city of Liverpool and then on to Holmside in Durham.
It was around this time that they gave their name to the
village of Whittingham in Yorkshire whilst acquiring estates
in Penley in Herefordshire and Balkes in Yorkshire.
The next three centuries found the Whittingham
name flourishing and contributing greatly to the culture
of the nation.
Members of the Whittingham family were
amongst some of the first immigrants in North America who
sailed amongst an armada of small sailing ships known as
the "White Sails".
Records show a John Whittingham who settled
Massachusetts. in 1630. William Whittingham arrived in
Boston in 1630 and Thomas Whittingham arrived in St.
Christopher in 1684.