There are two possible sources of this interesting name, the first being that it is of Scottish origin, and is locational from a place called Whithorn near Wigtown in Scotland. The derivation of the placename is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hwit", white, with "aern", a house, and refers to a white stone church built by the 5th Century St. Ninian on the site of this place. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. However, Whitehorn may also be a metonymic occupational name for a worker in horn, an important medium in the Middle Ages, used instead of glass, with the second element, "horn", deriving from the Olde English "horn", and the second element, "hwit", used in the sense of fair or splendid. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Thomas Whithorn, in the 1327, Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, and Guilielmus Whitehorn, recorded on April 2nd 1648, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The Whitehorn Coat of Arms is described thus: "Per chevron flory silver and black in chief two towers, and in base an escallop all counterchanged, the Crest being five spears black headed gold, one in pale and four in saltire". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Martin Withorn, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whithorn — Koordinaten 54° 44′ N, 4° 25′ W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Whithorn —    WHITHORN, a royal burgh and a parish, in the county of Wigton, 11 miles (S.) from Wigton, and 97½ (S. by W.) from Glasgow; containing, with the village of Isle of Whithorn, 2795 inhabitants, of whom 495 are in Isle of Whithorn, and 1502 in the …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Whithorn — Whithorn, so v.w. Whitehorn …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Whithorn — (spr. ŭitt horn), Dorf im S. von Wigtownshire (Schottland), mit einer auf den Trümmern der Abtei St. Ninian errichteten Kirche und (1901) 1188 Einw. – Hier baute St. Ninian im 4. Jahrh. die erste christliche Kirche in Schottland. Seit dem 12.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Whithorn — infobox UK place country = Scotland official name= Whithorn population= 867 (2001 Census) os grid reference= NX445405 map type= Scotland latitude=54.73535 longitude= 4.41670 unitary scotland= Dumfries and Galloway lieutenancy scotland= Wigtown… …   Wikipedia

  • Whithorn — ▪ Scotland, United Kingdom       royal burgh (town) in Dumfries and Galloway region, historic county of Wigtownshire, southwestern Scotland. It lies on the peninsula between Luce and Wigtown bays. One of the oldest Christian centres in Britain,… …   Universalium

  • WHITHORN —    a small town in Wigtownshire, 12 m. S. of Wigtown, celebrated as the spot where St. Ninian planted Christianity in Scotland, and founded a church to St. Martin in 397 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Whithorn Priory — • Founded in Scotland in the twelfth century Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Whithorn Priory     Whithorn Priory     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Whithorn Priory — is located in Wigtownshire, Galloway. It was founded about the middle of the twelfth century, in the reign of David I, by Fergus, Lord of Galloway, with Gille Aldan, Bishop of Galloway, for Premonstratensian Canons, referred colloquially in… …   Wikipedia

  • Whithorn, Isle Of —    WHITHORN, ISLE OF, a sea port village, in the parish of Whithorn, county of Wigton, 2½ miles (S. E.) from the town of Whithorn; containing 495 inhabitants. This place, which is situated at the head of a small bay in the south eastern coast of… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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