Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Wyatt Name
Wyatt Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This Anglo-Saxon-French-Teutonic last name is a baptismal or patronymic one meaning “the son of Guy” from the diminutive (shortened version or nickname) Guyot, spelled Wyot in England, also spelled Wiot and Gyot, which were medieval person (first) names used in England and France as masculine given names. The names ultimately derive from the Old English personal name Wigheard, consisting of the words wig (war) and heard (hardy, strong, or brave). The name Guy (or Why or Wi) derives from the Germanic word wido, meaning wood or wide. Under the Norman French in the Middle Ages in Christendom, the name was also used as a shortened version of the ancient male given names Guy and William. Mark Antony Lower’s nineteenth century book Patronymica Britannica stated the following about this name: “from the Norman-French personal name Gui or Guido, which we have also received in the form of Guy. The name Guyatt is still found in West Sussex”. The 1965 book South African Surnames by Eric Rosenthal states this name means “Little Guy” in Old English. The name was brought into the British Isles after the Norman Invasion of 1066 AD led by William the Conqueror and the name first took root in county Sussex, England, where the family held lands and title.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Wyat, Wyot, Wyard, Wyart, Wiat, Guyot, Guiot, Wiett, Wiardus, Whyatt, Wyott, Guyatt, Wyatte, Wayatt, Wiyatt, Wyeatt, and about 90 others.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Wyatt ranks 604th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Arkansas. The surname Wyatt frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (522nd), Scotland (1,542nd), Wales (504th), Ireland (4,128th) and Northern Ireland (2,536th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Oxfordshire, Devon, and Somerset. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in county Bute. In Wales, it ranks highest in Merionethshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in King’s County. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,879th), New Zealand (593rd), Australia (664th), and South Africa (3,381st).
Early Bearers of the Surname
Adam, son of Wyot, held an oxgang of land according to the De Lacy Inquisition. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists four bearers of this surname/first name: Ayote uxor Wyot (Salop), Henry Wyot (Cambridgeshire), Wyotte le Carpener (Buckinghamshire), and Wyot de Dudelebury (Salop). The Register of the University of Oxford for 1575 records one John Wyot in county Devon, England (previously Great Britain and present day United Kingdom). The same register lists William Wyatt in county Devon in 1576, John Wyatt or Wiat in Worcestershire in 1581, and Francis Wiat in county Kent in 1603. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: Margaret Wyotte and Mergeria Wyot. A one Maucolm Wyet of Anegos, Scotland rendered homage in 1296 AD. A one James Wyot, Wyat, or Vyot was a burgess of Arnbroath starting in 1461 AD. A Ralph or Roger Wiardus was documented in Normandy in 1198 AD.
Wyatt Family Tree & Wyatt Genealogy
The following is a discussion of three different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.
Wyatt of Bryn Gwyant
The lineage of Wyatt genealogy of this branch of the family tree traces back to a Staffordshire family, which settled in said county soon after the beheading of Sir Thomas Wyatt during the reign of Philip and Mary (1553-1558 or 1598). Benjamin Wyatt was an Esquire of Lime Grove, North Wales, son of Benjamin Wyatt and Mary Wright of Coton), in 1772, married Sarah, daughter of William Forde of Burton, and had thirteen issue with her as follows: 1) Edwin (of The Mount, married Elizabeth Kitchen, had three sons), 2) Lewis William (of Puckpool, Isle of Wight, married Louisa Wyatt), 3) Robert Manley, 4) Henry (Captain, Royal Navy, married Elizabeth Marshall, had two daughters), 5) Samuel (Captain of the Royal Army), 6) James (of Bryn Gwynant), 7) Arthur, 8) Lucy, 9) Charlotte (married J. Greenfield), 10) Eliza (married Reverend George Wyatt of Burghwallis, had four daughters), 11) Anne (married Daniel Vawdrey of Tushingham Hall and Plas Gwynant), Maria, and Sarah Maria (married Reverend S. Rice). His son James Wyatt was an Esquire of Bryn Gwynant in county Carnarvon, a Justice of the Peace, and Deputy Lieutenant who was born in 1795. In 1821, he married Anne Jane, daughter of John Ainsworth of Preston, and had six children with her as well: James Henry (Lieutenant Colonel, married Jane Forbes Hogarth of Aberdeen), Benjamin (of Portmadoc, married Harriett Owen), Arthur (of Tan-y-bryn who married Louisa Bonham of Ballintaggart), Harriet Maria (married H. Beaver Roberts of Plas Llandogel), Louisa Anne (married Osmond A. Wyatt of Troy House), and Charlotte. The Wyatt Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Wyatt Family Crest by those unfamiliar with genealogy and heraldry) is blazoned in the European art of heraldry as follows: Gules, on a fess or, between three boars’ head erased argent two lions passant sable. Crest: Out of a mural coronet argent a demi-lion rampant sable charged on the shoulder with an estoile also argent, and holding an arrow proper. Motto: Vi at tamen honore. This family was seated at Bryn Gwynant, Reddgelert, North Wales, in present day United Kingdom.
Wyatt of Court Wick and Cissbury
The Wyatt genealogy traces back to a family seated at South Haigh in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England since medieval times. They obtained considerable land and position by the time of the reign of King Edward III (1327-1377 AD). During the 1500s, this family branched out into counties Kent, Essex, and Sussex. The Kentish line became extinct in 1753. The Sussex branch was established at Flansham in 1523, where one Thomas Wyatt was listed on a roll of Sussex gentry in 1588. William Wyatt of Flansham, his direct descendant, married Sarah, daughter of Robert Sparkes of Felpham, and had a son with her named Richard. This Richard Wyatt was an Esquire of Court Wick who was born in 1726 and purchased lands in Goring and in West Sussex starting in 1756. He married Mary, heiress of Edward Greenfield. He died in 1801 and was succeeded by his son Richard. This Richard was an Esquire of Court Wick, Justice of the Peace, and High Sheriff for Sussex. He died in 1810 and was succeeded by his nephew, Hugh. This Hugh Wyatt was an Esquire of Cissbury and Court Wick and Deputy Lieutenant was born in 1783. In 1810, he married Frances, daughter of John Ingram of Steyning, and had by her, the following two sons and three daughters: Hugh (discussed below), John Ingram Penfold (Perpetual Curate of Hawley, married Harriet, daughter of John W. Tipping of the Royal Military College, had issue Hugh Richard, John Arthur, Henry Allington, Edward Gerald, Mary Frances, Alice Anne, Edith Harriet, Blanche Miriam), Fanny, Ann Miriam, and Eliza Sarah. His son Hugh Wyatt was and Esquire of Court Wick and Cifsbury, Sussex, Barrister-at-Law, Recorder of Seaford, and Justice of the Peace, who was born in 1813 and was a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, England. In May of 1855, he married Sarah Jane Emily, daughter of Admiral Hargood of Worthing. The Wyatt Arms is blazoned as follows in heraldry: Gules, on a fesse or, between three boars’ heads couped argent a lion passant guardant between two pheons sable. Crest: A demi-lion rampant erased azure holding in his dexter paw an arrow head sable. The family seat was at Court Wick and Cissbury, Worthing, Sussex.
Wyatt-Edgell of Cowley House
The Wyatt lineage or Wyatt ancestry for this branch of the family tree traces back to a family that lived at Ninehead, county Somerset, England, present day United Kingdom in the 1600s AD. A one Richard Wyatt was the Surveyor General of the Customs in 1630. Richard Wyatt settled at Egham, county Surrey, England and in 1723, he married Frances, daughter of Peter Burrell of Beckenham, and had three children with her as follows: Richard, Isabella (of West Grinstead Park), and Frances. He was succeeded by his son Richard. This son Richard was an Esquire of Egham and a Justice of the Peace for Surrey. In 1766, he married Priscilla, daughter of John Edgell of Milton Place, and had seven issue with her as follows: Edgell (his successor), Reverend Richard Peter, William (Lieutenant-Colonel of the 23rd Regiment, married Harriett, daughter of Reverend Thomas Smith of Bideford, Devon), Elizabeth (married Reverend Thomas Barne of Sotterly Hall), Isabella, and Priscilla. He died in 1813 and was succeeded by his son Edgell Wyatt, who was an Esquire of Milton Place and a Justice of the Peace for Surrey who was born in 1797. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Pocock, an Esquire of Chieveley, Berkshire, and by her fathered the following children: Richard, Reverend Edgell (Rector of North Cray, married Henrietta, co-heiress of the Barony of Braye, daughter of Henry Otway of Castle Otway, had issue with her named Edmund Verney, Henry Adrian, Alfred Thomas Townshend, and Fanny Catherine Sarah), Maria Frances, Louisa Elizabeth (of Blanche Farm, South Mimms). His son Arthur Wyatt-Edgell was an Esquire of Milton Place, Surrey and of Cowley House, Devon, a Justice of the Peace, a graduate of Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, and the Major 1st Brigade Devon Artillery of the 10th Hussars, who was born in July 1837. In 1868, he married Frances Albinia Gresham, daughter of William Leveson-Gower of Titsey Park, and had two issue with her: Merrik Richard Arthur (1872) and Lucy Priscilla (1871). The Wyatt Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Wyatt Family Crest or Wyatt Family Shield) was blazoned as follows: Quarterly: 1st and 4th, argent, on a chevron sable between three cinquefoils gules as many bezants, for Edgell; 2nd and 3rd, sable, a fess dancettee argent between three eagles displayed or, a chief of the last, for Wyatt. Crests: 1st, Edgell: A demi-lion rampant holding in the dexter paw a cinquefoil gules slipped and leaved vert: 2nd, Wyatt: A demi-lion per pale crenellee or and sable holding in the dexter paw an arrow gules headed and feathered argent. Motto: Honesta bona. They were seated at Cowley House, Exeter.
Other Wyatt Pedigree & Family Trees
Here is one pedigree of this family surname numbered by generations starting with one.
1) Guyot deWyatt (born around 980 AD)
2) Guyot Wiot/Wyot/Wyatt (born in France around 1000 AD)
3) Captain Adam Guyot (born in Falaise, Calvados, Basse-Normadie, France in 1020 AD, died in Kexburgh, Yorkshire England in 1085 AD)
4) Unknown Wyatt (born Mexborough, Yorkshire, England around 1050 AD)
5) Unknown Wyatt (born Mexborough, Yorkshire, England around 1080 AD)
6) Unknown Wyatt (born Mexborough, Yorkshire, England around 1120 AD)
7) Unknown Wyatt (born Mexborough, Yorkshire, England around 1180 AD)
8) Wiot de Acham (born in Mexborough, Yorkshire around 1220 AD)
9) Geoffrey Wyatt (born in Kent around 1265 AD)
10) Admiral Wiotus Wyatt (born in Kent around 1285 AD)
11) Adam Wiat or Wyatt (born in Southange, Yorkshire in 1320 AD)
12) William Wyatt (born in Southhange, Yorkshire around 1350 AD, married Jane Bailiffe)
13) Richard Wyatt (born in Southange, Yorkshire, England around 1385 AD, married Jane Skipwith)
14) Galfridus or Geoffrey Wyatt or Wiat (born in Southange around 1410 AD, married Anna Skipwith)
15) Richard Wyatt (born in South Haigh, Kexborough, Yorkshire around 1428, married Margaret Clarke and Margaret Bailiffe)
16) Sir Henry Wyatt (born in Abington Castle, Kent around 1460, married Anne Skinner). Wikitree.com states the following in regard to this man: “After the Battle of Bosworth Field and the death of Richard III, Henry Wiatt was freed by his friend Henry Tudor and knighted. Lands and great wealth were his and he became the guardian of Tudor’s son the future Henry VIII. He became Master of the King’s Jewels and Treasurer of the King’s Chamber. Allington Castle is the ancestral home of the Wyatt family”.
17) Sir Thomas “The Elder” “The Poet” Wyatt (born in Allington Castle, Maidstone around 1503, married Elizabeth Brooke Warner, had issue named Thomas, Ann, Walter, and Charles).
18) Sir Thomas “The Rebel” “The Younger” “The Traitor” Wyatt (born in Allington Csdy;r, Maidstone, Kent around 1522). Wikitree.com states the following in regard to this man: “The fear of England becoming re-Catholicised combined with the proposed marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain, led to the Wyatt Rebellion of 1554. This was a rebellion led by nobles – principally Sir Thomas Wyatt from Kent, Sir Peter Carew from Devon, Sir James Croft from Herefordshire and the Duke of Suffolk from Leicestershire. However, it had one major weakness – it did not have the popular support of the people across the land and was doomed to failure.” He married Jane Haute and had numerous issue as follows: Edward, Thomas, Carlous, Richard, henry, Charles, Ann (Twisden), Arthur, Jane, Abb, George, Frances, Henry, Jethro, Joan, Jocosa, and Ursula.
19) George Wyatt or Wiat (born in Allington Castle, Kent, England around 1550, married Jane Finch, had issue named Joan, Katherine, Francis, Eleanor, Anne, Hawte, Margaret, Henry, George, Thomas, Isabel (Page), and Jane). According to Wikitree.com, “In 1571 George and his family were restored in blood and arms after having been deprived of them in consequence of Bill of Attainment and execution of his father. Sir George was a sixteenth-century writer. He was the first biographer of Henry VIII’s second queen, Anne Boleyn. His grandfather, Thomas Wyatt the Elder, had been a cousin and early admirer of Anne’s. Sir George died September 16, 1623 in Ireland.”
20) Sir Francis Wyatt (born in Arllington Castle, Boxley, Kent, England around 1588, married Margaret Sandys, had issue named Elizabeth Garlington, Henry, George, William, Francis, Samuel, Frances, and Edwin)
21) Elizabeth Wyatt (born in Boxley Kent, England, went to colonial America where she married Christopher P. Garlington in Virginia in 1649, having the following children with her: Nicholas Garlington, Elizabeth Dameron, Sarah, Sarah, Christopher P., and Christopher).
Captain John Wyatt, the son of Hawte Wyatt and Ann Cox, was born in Boxley, Kent, England in 1630. He married Mary Cocke and Jane Osborne. He went to colonial America and lived in Virginia. He had three issue: William, John, and Ann. His son William Wyatt was born in Northern Neck, Virginia around 1656. He married Rebeka Eivans and Rebecca Kent and had four children: Vinson, Elizabeth (Florence), John, and Samuel. His son John was born in Perquimans, North Carolina in 1679. He married Rachel Calloway and had two sons with her: John and William. His son John Wyatt was born in Perquimans, North Carolina around 1713. He married Rachel Evans and had four issue with her: William, John, Barnett, and Nathan. His son Nathan Wyatt was born in Edgecombe, North Carolina in 1745.
Linzy D. Wyatt was born in Alabama in 1856. He had a son named Thomas Marvin Wyatt who was born in Newton County, Mississippi in 1884. He married Josie May Durham and was the father of the following three children: Thomas Marvin, Leon Durham, and Virgie Pearl (Williams). His son Leon Durham Wyatt was born in Atlanta, Louisiana in 1917. He married Juanita Christine Clifton and had a daughter with her named Judy. Judy Wyatt-Byddum or Rayburn was born in the 1940s. She had a daughter named Alyson N. Rayburn (also known as Gjerton, Krivanek) who was born in the 1970s. She had several issue including Carissa (Gjertson) Krivanek, Judy (Gjertson) Krivanek.
Early American and New World Settlers
Sir Francis Wyatt (1588-1644) was an English knight, noble, politician, and government official who came to Virginia in colonial America aboard the George in 1621, becoming the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was the son of Sir George Wyatt (born 1553) of Boxley Manor, Kent, England. He is credited for establishing the first legislative body in America in 1619 when he organized the General Assembly. Lady Margrett Wyatt, the wife of the aforementioned Sir Frances, was recorded as living in Virginia (at James Cittye) in February 1623.
Hank Wyatt, a Minister, was recorded as living in Virginia (at James Cittye) in February 1623. Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Thomas Wyatt (Virginia 1642) and George Wyatt (Virginia 1662). In Australia, one of the first settlers with this surname was James Wyatt, a convict from Berkshire, England, who was transported aboard the Adamant in 1821, living in New South Wales, then a penal colony. A family of this name came to Holdfast Bay in 1837 aboard the John Renwick: George, Sarah, Adolphus, and Sarah Elizabeth Wyatt. In New Zealand, a one of the first settlers with this last name was Benjamin Wyatt, who came to the city of Wellington aboard the New Era in 1855. A family bearing this surname came to the city of Auckland in 1863 aboard the Queen Beauty: James, Mary Ann, John Wyatt, and Elizabeth.
Early Americans Bearing the Wyatt Family Crest
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains one entry for this name: Per fess azure and gules a barnacle argent ringed or. Crest: An ostrich proper holding in the beak a horseshoe argent. The name of the bearer is not provided, but the book states the blazon was found in Virginia (assuming during colonial times) and the bearer was from Kent, England.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) contains one entry for this last name: James Wyatt of Baltimore, Maryland, who was born in 1748 at Bristol, Gloucestershire. Arms: Sable, a fesse dancette argent between three eagles displayed or, a chief of the last. Crest: Out of the park pales argent and sable, charged with escallops in fesse or, a pine tree fructed proper.
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) does not contain an entry for this name.
I have identified five Wyatt family mottoes:
1) Vi at tamen honore (By force, yet with honour)
2) Duriora virtus (Virtue tries harder things)
3) Oblier ne puis (I cannot forget)
4) Endure and hope
5) Suivez raison (Follow reason)
We have 17 coats of arms for the Wyatt surname depicted here. These 17 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Wyatt Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Wyatt Family Crest) include:
1) Thomas, son of Thomas Wyat and Agnes Fursman, 31 May 1742
2) Richard Wyat(t) of Minehead, county Somerset, England, 26 February 1731
3) John Wyatt and James of Weeford, county Stafford, and London, and to grandfather, John, 1780
4) Wyatt, late Goode, of Coventry, county Warwick and London 1814
5) Watt of Stroud, county Gloucestershire, 1822
6) Wyatt to Penfold, county Sussex, 28 December 1839
7) Wyatt-Edgell to Veryney-Cave, of county Staffordshire, 1880
8) Wyatt to Wyatvile, Sir Jeffrey, Knight, R.A., of Windsor, Berkshire, England (present day United Kingdom), see Shenstone, augmentation in 1830
There are hundreds of notable people with the Wyatt surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) James Wyatt (1746-1813) who was an English architect of the neoclassical and neo-Gothic style, born in Blackbrook Farm, Weeford, 2) Kimberly Kaye Wyatt (1982) who is an American singer, dancer, and choreographer that was a member of the famous pop girl group the Pussycat Dolls, born in Warrenburg, Missouri, 3) Wilson Watkins Wyatt (1905-1996) who was the Mayor of Louisville of Kentucky from 1941 to 1945 ad the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky from 1959 to 1963, 4) Thomas Wyatt Turner (1877-1978) was an American educator, biologist, and American Civil Rights activist who was a founding member of the NAACP, born in Hughesville, Maryland and educated at Howard and Cornell University, 5) Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) who was an English poet, politican, and ambassador credited for introducing the sonnet to English literature, born in Allington, Kent , 6) Sarah Wyatt (1958) who is an American molecular biologist at the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology at Ohio University, born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 7) Robert “Bob” Elliot Storey Wyatt (1901-1995) who was born in Surrey and was an English cricket player who played for Warwickshire and Worcestershire from 1923-1951, 8) Richard James Wyatt (1795-1850) was a sculptor who studied in Rome under Canova, born in London, England, 9) Jennifer Noel Wyatt (1965) who was a Canadian professional golfer who was born in Vancouver, British Columbia who toured on the LGPA and had one LPGA Tour win and one ALPG Tour win, and 10) George Henry Wyatt (1886-1964) who was an English soldier born in Worcester, Worcestershire who was received a Victoria Cross for his demonstration of gallantry in the face of the enemy, a Lance-Sergeant who served in the Coldstream Guards during World War I.