Weaver Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Weaver Meaning
Weaving as an occupation has generated a number of
surnames: Webb, Webster, Webber, and Weaver. The
Webb and
Webster surnames, which derived from the Old English word webba, have a south/north
Weaver has tended to be much more geographic specific, being
found first in
Cheshire.  Here the name could have come from another Old
English word for weaving, wefan;
or it could have been locational,
from the river Weaver (and the Old English wefere
meaning “winding stream”).  In America the German Weber often became Weaver.

Weaver Resources on

Weaver Ancestry

Weaver Manor
on the Weaver river in Cheshire was recorded as Wevre in
the Domesday Book and as Wevere in 1300. The lords of Weaver
became known as de Weaver and the first recorded of that name was
William de Weaver in 1225. Weavers remained the lords until
Thomas Weaver died without male issue in 1446. Other Weavers were
to be found by that time at Kinderton and Middlewich nearby.
Weavers were recorded at Aston and Weaverham along the river Weaver in
the 1580 Visitations of Cheshire.

Another Weaver line, with connections going back to Wales and
Shropshire in the 13th century, was to be found in Aymestrey and
Presteign in Herefordshire. Weavers of this family were MP’s for
Hereford during the 17th century. The line also included Clement
Weaver, an early immigrant to America. These Weavers were described in
Lucius Weaver’s 1928 book History
and Genealogy of a Branch of the Weaver Family

There were Weavers in Worcestershire by the 17th century. One
family line traces back to Bromsgrove in the 1680’s and possibly
earlier. The will of William Weaver of Over Hanley was recorded
in 1685. Samuel Weaver was born in Mitton in 1725.

By the time of the 1891 census Weaver was still very much a name of the
western parts of England, with the main numbers to be found in a line
stretching south from Lancashire into Gloucestershire.

America. Clement Weaver
first arrived in America around 1640 and came to Newport, Rhode Island
about a decade later. He was said by profession to be a wall
builder and he constructed for himself a stone house which lasted into
the 20th century. He was the immigrant ancestor of thousands of
Weaver descendants in America today.

One line of these Weavers ended up on the West Coast in the late 19th
century. Sylvester Weaver was a successful roofing contractor in
the early days of Los Angeles. His two sons Pat and Doodles
started out in West Coast radio. Pat Weaver rose to be President
of NBC in the 1950’s. Doodles was an on-screen comedian who later
shot himself. Pat’s daughter is the actress Sigourney Weaver.

The Weaver numbers are much greater in America than in England.
The reason why can be seen in the state which had and still has the largest
number of Weavers
in the country. Pennsylvania was the
avenue for early German immigrants and many Webers
(German for “weavers”) became Weavers there.

first Webers in America
were probably Mennonites. Weber

is an old Mennonite family
name of Swiss origin. Several Webers
emigrated from the Palatinate
to Lancaster county in the
18th century.

The brothers Jacob, Henry, George, and John Weber are
known to
have arrived around 1710. The first three established a settlement in
which came to be known as Weberthal or Weaverland
and from which the present Mennonite church takes its name. Jacob’s grandson Joseph, born in 1765, was
the first to be styled Weaver. Meanwhile another Jacob Weber came
to New York
state. He and his descendants were to be
found at German Flats in the Mohawk valley.

the Weber name in Germany was mostly to be found in Rheinland and in
Baden-Wurttemburg. Among the
subsequent Webers/Weavers
who came to Pennsylvania were:

  • Casper
    Weber who came to Lancaster county around
    1720. His grandson, born there in 1747,
    was Casper Weaver.
  • Michael
    Weber who arrived as a young man on the Lydia from
    Wurttemburg in 1741. He died in Belefonte,
    Centre county. Kathryn Reighard’s 1988
    The History of
    Ten Generations

    traced the descendants of Michael Weaver and his
    wife Anna Barbara.
  • and
    Johann Weber who
    arrived in the 1750’s from Baden and settled in Lehigh county. His grandson, born there in 1823, was Enos

Weavers stayed in Pennsylvania.
Others headed westward. The
descendants of Adam Weaver, found in Haines township tax lists until
ended up in Stark county, Ohio. Craven
Weaver’s descendants moved via North Carolina to Tennessee and later

John Weaver – the mayor of Philadelphia from 1903 to 1907 –
was not German but came from immigrant English stock, being born in

Canada. Many
of the early Weavers in Canada were Loyalists and, curiously, more of
than of English stock.

Weaver fought
with Butler’s Rangers as a teenager during the Revolutionary War. Peter Weber/Weaver was a Hessian soldier who
deserted his troops in New Jersey. Both
ended up in the Niagara region. Francis
fought against the Americans again in 1812.
In 1830 George and Catherine Weaver came to this area from
Alsace on the
German/French border.


Weaver Miscellany

Early Weavers in Cheshire.  Weaver manor in Cheshire became the possession of the family that bore
the same name in the early 13th century.  Whether this family was
descended from the Norman Bigots that had previously held the manor is
a matter of conjecture.  Maybe they were descended from the
unknown trusted servant or “radman” recorded as holding land there in
the Domesday Book of 1086.

The first with the family name to appear in records was William de
Weaver who around 1225 witnessed the Earl of Chester’s grant of land to
Robert Woodford.  It was as under-foresters of Mondrem that they
appeared in the records most frequently.

Weber Mennonites in the Palatinate.  Weber is an old Mennonite family name of Swiss
origin. As early as 1664 the Palatine Mennonite census lists reported two
Webers, including Peter Weber at Oberflörsheim.
He was still living there in 1685, with six sons and one
daughter, while
there was a second Peter Weber at Waltzheim.
Johannes Weber was at Osthofen and Heinrich Weber and Dietrich
Weber at
Gundersheim. In 1732 Peter Weber was a minister at Oberflörsheim.  In 1738 there were also Weber families at
Spiesheim, Wolfsheim, and at Heppenheim an der Wiese.
Among later Webers was Peter Weber of
Kindenheim, an influential preacher.

of these locations were in the Palatinate and west of the Rhine.  From these Webers came the Weber/Weaver
to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s.

Weavers in America in 1840.  The table below shows
the distribution of Weavers by the leading states in America according to the 1840 census.

State Numbers Percent
Pennsylvania    640    28
Ohio    350    15
New York    330    14
Virginia    110     5
Elsewhere    820    38
Total   2,290   100

Pennsylvania led the list by far, a position it still holds today. 

Weber-Weaver Farm in Lancaster County.  Weber-Weaver Farm is a historic home and
farm in West Lampeter township, Lancaster county.  The
property includes the Hans Weber House
(1724), the Weber barn (c. 1724), and the John Weaver House and summer
(c. 1765).

The Hans Weber House is a stone dwelling modeled on the Hans
House in its Germanic style. It measure 36 feet by 34 feet, and was
enlarged to
a full two-stories and renovated between 1790 and 1810.
The John Weaver House was built as a
two-story, Georgian style dwelling, subsequently enlarged and modified
the 19th and 20th centuries.

Pat Weaver’s The Best Seat in the House.  In Pat
Weaver’s words and for many the 1950’s represented the golden years of
American TV.

Pat Weaver was at its
forefront.  He assumed the presidency of
NBC Television in 1949 and revolutionized the industry by having the
network own
and program its shows.  Previously the sponsors had controlled
their production
and content.  Instead, Weaver sold
advertising time to sponsors, thereby changing the face of commercial
forever.  At NBC he husbanded such
programs as The Today Show, The Tonight
, Your Show of Shows, plus the creation of NBC

By 1954 Weaver had built a series of strategic
prime time lineups that began with comedy and ended with drama.  Two years later, Weaver resigned from NBC when
ts chairman David Sarnoff stripped him of his power and the story in The Best Seat in the House, his 1993 memoir,
virtually ends there.


Weaver Names

  • John Weaver was a famous dancing master in England in the 18th century and the man who
    introduced pantomimes into England.
  • The Weavers were a popular
    American folk-singing quartet of the 1950’s.
  • Pat Weaver was the innovative
    President of NBC in the 1950’s.
  • Earl Weaver was a successful baseball manager for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970’s and 80’s.
  • Sigourney Weaver is an American film actress.

Select Weaver Numbers Today

  • 15,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 52,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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