Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Weatheridge, Wetherage, Wetheredge, Wetheridge, Witherage
Category: 3 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.
Contact: Mrs Kim Cook
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:
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.
Witheridge FHS Research Holdings
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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 have been compiled for most branches and sub-branches of the Witheridge family.
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.
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: