West Surname Genealogy


Here are some West stories
accounts over the years:


West, East, North and South

four points of the compass transposed in England into
surnames.  Of these, West has been by far the most popular.
numbers in England today are:

in England  Numbers (000’s)  Share (%)
West   57   66
North   14   16
East   10   12
South    5    6


West and De La Warr


was a title created in 1402 for Sir Thomas West
of Oakhanger, Northampton.  He married
the heiress Joan de la Warr, through whom his second son eventually
Baron De La Warr.  The two titles
descended in tandem until the death of Thomas West, the 6th Lord West
and 9th
Lord de la Warr, in 1554.  Then, in 1572,
the heir male and nephew of
the co-heirs general was created Baron de la Warr, but not Baron West. 

In America Thomas West, the 12th Baron de la Warr, is
usually named in history books as Lord Delaware.  He
served as governor of the Jamestown colony.  The Delaware bay,
Delaware river, and the state of Delaware were named
after him.


John and Francis
West of Twickenham

The Wests had come originally from Guildford in Surrey.  Edward West, described variously as a weaver
and a yeoman, had married in Guildford in 1584 and again there in 1605.  He and his family moved to Twickenham a few
years later. 
a Court of the Manor of
Isleworth held in early 1611 he was admitted to “one cottage with
appurtenances, lying and being in Twickenham.”

four generations of this West family supplied churchwardens to
the Twickenham parish over the course of the 17th century.
A branch of the family moved to Hampton,
remaining there until the early 1700’s.

best-known of these Wests was Edward’s grandson, John West, born in
in 1641.  He became a scrivener (scribe)
and an extremely
wealthy one.  He and his wife Francis
were public benefactors.  And they are
remembered today.  “West Day” is an
annual event held by the John and Francis Family Group to celebrate the
of this family and its descendants.


Early Wests in America

Stone’s 1928 book The West Family Register traced the early
Wests in
America.  These Wests included:

  • Captain
    John West, Governor of Virginia, and his descendants, among whom was
    the noted
    Antarctic explorer, Richard E. Byrd  
  • Anthony
    West of Accomac, Virginia, who was said to have come to the colonies in
    the James
    in 1622, and his descendants
  • Joseph West
    of Prince Georges county, Maryland and his descendants elsewhere in
    and Kentucky  
  • Sir
    Stephen West who
    settled in Prince Georges County in 1700 and his descendants
  • Ignatius West of Chatham county, North
    Carolina and his descendants  
  • William
    West, also of Chatham County, who later relocated to Kentucky  
  • Francis
    West of Duxbury, Massachusetts  
  • Caleb
    West of Philadelphia  
  • Benjamin
    West the artist, his English
    ancestry and American descendants  
  • the
    West families of Stafford, Prince William, and Fairfax counties Virginia  
  • William
    West from Sligo in Ireland and his descendants
    in Pennsylvania and Maryland  
  • Robert
    of Sussex county, Delaware  
  • Walker
    of Garrard county, Kentucky  
  • William
    and his descendants of Norfolk and Princess Anne counties, Virginia  
  • and
    various other miscellaneous West families.


The Wests on the Eastern Shore

Wests were part of the early landed gentry on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  John West had married Matilda Scarburgh - the
daughter of Colonel Edmund Scarburgh, a leading figure in the area.  The Wests lived on Onacock Creek.

Calvin West described a visit to that area in
the 1930’s:

found the old homestead
located on the shore of Deep Creek, an arm of

Bay, on
land that had been in the family since their arrival on the Eastern
Shore.  The old English colonial house,
with the ends
of brick and the front and back of hewn timbers, still stands but,
unoccupied, shows neglect. 

A few feet
from the southwest corner of the house is the family burying ground,
several generations lie buried.  The
marble headstones were brought from England."



Thomas West of Martha’s Vineyard

was evidently a man of education and superior ability and, arriving on
Vineyard in the early 1670’s, was its first known practitioner of
medicine and
surgery.  He also prosecuted the first
trials for murder on the island.

had the further distinction of being a
member with his wife Elizabeth of the Third Sabbatarian (Seventh Day)
Baptist Church.  He was elected ‘townsman’
of Tisbury on
Martha’s Vineyard in 1678 and was on a committee to make rates the

But he was also indicted and fined in
1678 for ‘unsavory speeches,’ sued for defamation in 1687, and in 1702
from his church for disobeying the tenets of the communion (although
his wife
and other members of his family continued in good standing).

He died in 1706, aged sixty.  His son
Thomas was a seaman and pilot at Martha’s Vineyard, his
grandson Thomas a clergyman there.

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