Gwyther


Gwyther
This interesting and unusual name is Welsh. It is cognate with the English surname Wither or Wyther, a name which has three possible origins. The first and most likely is from the pre 7th century Old Norse personal name "Vitharr". This is composed of the elements "Vith", with the literal translation of wide, and "arr", a herald or messenger. Since "wide herald" does not make a lot of sense, it is probable that the actual meaning was something more pragmatic such as "important herald" or similar. Secondly it may have been at least for some nameholders, a topographical name for a person who lived by a prominent willow tree, and hence a derivative of the word "wythe", meaning willow. Thirdly it may be a derivative of the Roman (Latin) name Victor, as in "Gwythyr Vabgreidaw", or the victorious son of Greidawl in the ancient Welsh story of "Kulhwch ac Olwen". Amongst the sample recordings in Pembrokeshire is the christening of Bridget Gwyther, the daughter of John and Catherine Gwyther in Minwere on April 15th 1686. A coat of arms granted to the family has the blazon of a silver shield thereon a fess gules between three red crescents. The first recorded spelling of the family name in surviving church registers is possibly that of Elizabeth Gwither. This was dated 27th April 1601, at St. Michael's church, Pembroke, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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