Weaver Surname Genealogy

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

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

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 Weavers 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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