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3760

Witheridge

 

About the study

The Witheridge membership of the Guild is held on behalf of the Witheridge Family History Society. Founded in 1987, the Witheridge FHS researches Witheridges/Wetheridges and other variants of the name, past and present, world wide, as a One-Name Study. We also research the families that have married into, or have close links with, the many branches of the family. The Society is open to anyone related to, or descended from, any Witheridge/Wetheridge, or whose family has close links with any Witheridge or Wetheridge family. Currently we have over 150 members throughout the world.

Variant names

In many early documents, the name was spelled Witheridge or Wetheridge, but the Witheridge version is the most widespread, except for a large Wetheridge presence in the Greater London area. Other variants include Weatheridge, Weatheredge, Wetherage, Wetheredge, Witherage, Witheredge, and occasionally Wytheridge or Wytheredge.

Name origin

The name Witheridge/Wetheridge is Anglo-Saxon, but there has been some dispute about its meaning. Ridge presents no problems, meaning an elevation deep in proportion to its width and height and generally having sloping sides. The first part of the word has been said to come from withy, meaning willow, or wether, meaning castrated ram - quite a difference there!

As most Witheridge/Wetheridge families can trace their ancestry back to Devon, many thought that we all came originally from the town of Witheridge in mid-Devon. However, looking at the map showing where Witheridges had settled, it seemed unlikely that people would have moved across the dangerous tracks of Dartmoor to reach places like Wembury, Ermington, Kingsbridge and Plymouth. This raised the possibility of another place called Witheridge somewhere in South Devon.

Subsequent research showed that a manor of Wederige, in Plympton Hundred, was recorded in the Domesday book of 1068. Much of the land belonging to this manor has apparently been lost as a result of coastal erosion, but what remains is on the cliffs above Jennycliffe Bay, between Plymouth and Wembury. Ironically, the manor's original Anglo-Saxon name (which relates to wethers) has changed over the years to the more elegant Withyhedge. If you look at the 6-inch OS map of the area, you can still see a field bearing the name Withyhedge Brake.

It is now thought that most Witheridge and Wetheridge families came from one of these two manors, and took the surname only after they left their home village.

There are a number of locations bearing the name Witheridge. These include:

  • The town of Witheridge in mid-Devon, England, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. At that time it was a small hamlet with a population of 11, but the Hundred of Witheridge, which covered some 61 villages, hamlets and settlements, had a total population of less than 750!
  • The ancient manor of Wederige, near Plympton, Devon, also recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
  • Witheridge Farm, East Ogwell, near Newton Abbot, Devon.
  • Witheridge Cottage in Newton Ferrers, Devon, once home to a Witheridge family.
  • Witheridge Farm, at Exton, Somerset, England, also once home to a Witheridge family.
  • Witheridge Hill, north-west of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
  • Witheridge Wood on Witheridge Lane, Knotty Green, Buckinghamshire, England

History of the name

Many Witheridge mariners of the 17th and 18th century became well known. Additionally, we have begun to compile a roll of honour of all Witheridge descendants who died in the service of their country.

Name frequency

 

Distribution of the name

It is now thought that most Witheridge and Wetheridge families came originally from one of the two Domesday manors, one where the town of Witheridge now stands, and one in Plympton Hundred. However, as most moved away before surnames became fixed, they would have taken the surname of their home manor only after they had left it. From these two manors, branches of the family spread throughout north and south Devon.

Across north Devon, there were key branches in Barnstaple, Berrynarbor, Bideford, and Ilfracombe, with sub-branches in Bradworthy and Combe Martin being particularly prolific.

In south Devon most branches were in the area known as the South Hams, between Plymouth and Kingsbridge, notably in Plymstock, Wembury, Ermington (another very prolific branch), South Milton and Thurlestone.

From the early 16th century, through to the late 17th century, many Witheridge mariners sailed in and out of the port of London, and settled in the city, with some eventually moving out to surrounding villages, now suburbs.

Another branch was in Chatham, Kent in the late 17th century, but it has not yet been determined where this branch originated. Descendants of the Chatham branch moved to the Birmingham area and have since spread throughout the Midlands.

Descendants from all these branches are now scattered throughout the UK and the world, as well as in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. We are in touch with a great number of descendants all these places, except South Africa, and we are currently trying to locate known descendants of families who went to South Africa.

Data

Witheridge FHS Research Holdings

Notes:

  1. 1 All holdings include Witheridge, Wetheridge & variants unless otherwise stated.
  2. 2 Date listings indicate maximum coverage across a given section, and may not apply to all parishes/counties/states in that section.
  3. 3 While some items are the property of the Witheridge FHS, some are owned by members who are willing to use them for the Society'€™s research

Pt 1 -€“ Data

UK BMD records

GRO Birth Indexes transcribed from original index ledgers 1837-2005
GRO Death Indexes transcribed from original index ledgers 1837-2005
GRO Marriage Indexes transcribed from original index ledgers 1837-2005
GRO Birth Certificates 135,as issued by GRO or facsimile thereof 1838-1975
GRO Death Certificates 75, as issued by GRO or facsimile thereof 1837-1984
GRO Marriage Certificates 142,as issued by GRO or facsimile thereof 1838-1978
GRO Overseas Births including Army, Marine & Consular 1761-1924
GRO Overseas Deaths including Army, Marine & Consular 1796-1915
GRO Oveseas Marriages including Army, Marine & Consular 1796-1915

Australian BMD records

Australian Birth Listings NSW, Tasmania, Victoria & WA 1788-1905
Australian Death Listings NSW, Tasmania, Victoria & WA 1788-1905
Australian Marriage Listings NSW, Tasmania, Victoria & WA 1788-1905
Australian Birth Certificates updating in progress
Australian Death Certificates updating in progress
Australian Marriage Certificates updating in progress

Canadian BMD records

Canadian Birth Listings Ontario extracts 1869-1896
Canadian Death Listings Ontario extracts 1884-1916
Canadian Marriage Listings Ontario extracts 1882-1908
Canadian Birth Certificates updating in progress
Canadian Death Certificates updating in progress
Canadian Marriage Certificates updating in progress

USA

Social Security Deaths also contain DoB (38, Witheridge only) 1963-1995

PRO Census Returns

1841 Transcripts, Witheridge & variants 1841
1851 Devon, Norfolk, Warwickshire (all) 1851
1861 Transcripts, Witheridge & variants 1861
1871 Transcripts, Witheridge & variants 1871
1881 England, Scotland, Wales, RN, IoM & CI (all) 1881
1891 Transcripts, Witheridge & variants 1891
1901 Index of all Witheridge & variants 1901
1911 listings being updated

Wills

Devonshire wills facsimile copies 1834, 1854
PCC listings 24 Witheridge & variants 1508-1855
PCC Facsimiles 20 Witheridge & variants 1508-1837
PPR Indexes Witheridge & variants only 1858-1963

Parish Records (transcripts)

Baptisms

Devon, Combmartin Witheridge & variants only 1538-1880
Devon, Ermington Witheridge & variants only 1600-1900
Devon, Exeter Cathedral original images, all names 1593-1813
Devon, Wembury Witheridge & variants only 1611-1824
London, St Helen'€™s Bishopsgate all names

Burials

Devon, Combmartin Witheridge & variants only 1538-1880
Devon, Ermington Witheridge & variants only 1600-1900
Devon, Exeter Cathedral original images, all names 1593-1813
Devon, Wembury Witheridge & variants only 1631-1870
London, St Helen'€™s Bishopsgate all names

Marriages

Cornwall various parishes, all names 1540-1837
Devon various parishes, all names 1813-1840
Devon, Combmartin Witheridge & variants only 1538-1880
Devon, Ermington Witheridge & variants only 1600-1900
Devon, Exeter Cathedral original images, all names 1593-1813
Devon, Plymouth various parishes, all names, indexed 1837-1998
Devon, Wembury Witheridge & variants only 1627-1851
Kent various parishes, all names 1538-1837
London, St Helen'€™s Bishopsgate all names
London, St Peter'€™s, Westminster all names 1655-1875
Devon, Plymouth various parishes, all names, indexed 1837-1998

LMA registers (facsimile)

Baptisms 42 Witheridge & variants 1606-1904
Burials 26 Witheridge & variants 1606-1889
Marriages 37 Witheridge & variants 1729-1912

Marriage Licences

ArchB Canterbury Faculty Office (all names) 1543-1869
Bishop of London Faculty Office (all names) 1520-1828

Parish Records (facsimile)

Seamen'€™s records 5 facsimile records

Army documents Awards 3 facsimile records

Trade Directories

Cornwall (Pigot) 1823, 1844
Devon (Pigot) 1844
Kent (Pigot 1823, 1844
Kent 1828-29,1832-34
London 1828-29
Middlesex 1828-29
Somerset (Pigot) 1830

Witheridge FHS also holds a large number of extracts from other records, detailing Witheridges (and variants) in Muster Rolls, Subsidy Rolls, Manorial Rolls, land deeds, military and marine records, emigration and immigration, and criminal records.

Pt 2 - Data Interpretations

The WFHS Research Co-ordinator, Kim Cook, has combined records from various sources.

Card Index This index covers over 2,500 Witheridges and Wetheridges, male and female, whether born or married into the family. The cards combine entries from parish registers, GRO registrations, census returns, wills, military, marine, and other documents. Each personal card includes some or all of the following information:
Christian name(s), date and place of birth and/or baptism; date(s) and place(s) of marriage(s), with name(s) of spouse(s); date and place of death and/or burial; names of parents; names and dates of children; occupation; census information; probate details; military or naval records.

Enhanced Narrative Pedigrees Each written pedigree covers one branch, or sub-branch, of a Witheridge family, generation by generation. Personal names are colour-coded, so that descendants of siblings can easily be found. In addition to the basic birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial information, these pedigrees include available details of occupation, education, changes of address, and census information. Other personal details, such as when and where a person met his/her spouse, others who lived with the family, cause of death, military or marine service details, and even telephone numbers for 20th-century families, have also been included where possible. These pedigrees, which are constantly updated, include those for

Australia Early immigrants 1842-1890
From Devon-Cornwall 1875-present day
Bideford South Devon sub-branch 1802-present day
Buckland, Devon Main branch 1800-1890
Chatham, Kent Main branch 1693-1836
Birmingham sub-branches 1806-present day
Combmartin, Devon Main branch 1538-present day
Bristol sub-branch 1863-present day
Wales-USA sub-branch 1880-present day
Ermington, Devon Main branch 1580-1934
Bridgwater sub-branch 1897-1947
Plymouth sub-branch 1815-present day
Plymouth & Poole sub-branch 1811-present day
Highgate, London Main branch 1765-1870
Camberwell sub-branches 1883-present day
Newton Ferrers, Devon Main branch 1600-1700
North Tawton, Devon All branches 1791-present day
South Africa Witheridge descendants 1820-1950
Thurlestone, Devon All branches 1700-present day
Wembury, Devon all known descendants 1590-present day

Family Trees

Family trees have been compiled for most branches and sub-branches of the Witheridge family.

Parish Profiles

Information has been collated from a wide range of sources to provide a profile of parishes in which Witheridge or Wetheridge families lived. These profiles include geographic location, distance from nearest town, population at various dates, and main sources of employment. The date and style of the parish church, its furnishings, bells, and any renovations or additions to the building, as well as dates of non-conformist churches and chapels, are also included. The availability of schools, post office services, mail coaches, and local businesses, with dates, also form part of some profiles. Those for Cornwall and Devon include:

Cornwall Antony, Jacobstowe, Maker, Tremaine, Week St Mary
Devon Ermington, Ilfracombe, Malborough, Modbury, Plymouth Charles, Plymouth St Andrew, Stoke Damerel, Tamerton Foliot, Tavistock, Wembury.

DNA

 

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