Surnames

The surname of Witham

 

Surnames in England became fixed only about 600 years ago, in about the 1300s. Before that, children didn’t take a surname from their parents. They would take it from something else like where they lived or their job or what they looked like.

 

So someone who now has a surname Witham could be descended from someone who lived in Witham in around the 1300s, who had decided to refer to themselves as ‘of Witham’. And then when soon afterwards it became customary to hand the surname down, their children were called this too, and then dropped the ‘of’. The children and their descendants could well have lived somewhere else entirely.

 

So if somebody has the surname Witham today, their ancestors may have last been connected with Witham in about 1300. In the Essex Witham, nothing from their time survives today except possibly a fragment of the church.

 

There are several places called Witham in England. I’ve taken this from BT

  1. WITHAM { – ESSEX}
  2. WITHAM { Warminster – WILTSHIRE}
  3. WITHAM FRIARY { Frome – SOMERSET}
  4. WITHAM ON THE HILL { Bourne – LINCOLNSHIRE}
  5. WITHAM ST HUGHS { Lincoln – LINCOLNSHIRE}

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.