Wyatt Surname Genealogy

The medieval personal names of Wiot, Wyot and Gyot were of old
English origin but could come with a Norman twist (a Guyot was said to
have come over with William the Conqueror). These names became
over time
surnames that standardized as Wyatt during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Resources on

Wyatt Ancestry

A Wyatt family were local squires at Southange (South Haigh) in west
Yorkshire, claiming a pedigree from an Adam Wyot of Yorkshire in the
14th century. Their fortunes took a distinct upswing when Henry
Wyatt backed Henry Tudor and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII after
his defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry
Wyatt was one of his
Privy Counsellors and remained a trusted advisor when Henry VIII came
to the throne in 1509. His portrait shows him with a cat by
his side.

“When he was confined by Richard III in
a cold and narrow tower where he had neither food nor fire, a cat
brought him each day a pigeon for his dinner and stayed around to help
him keep warm.”

The family home was at Allington castle
near Maidstone in Kent. His son Thomas was a well-known lyrical
poet; his son, Thomas
the younger, led a thwarted rebellion against Queen Mary, known as
Wyatt’s rebellion, for which he was executed. The family estates
were subsequently restored to his son George in 1571. A later
Wyatt was
the first English colonial governor of Virginia. Another line of
this family lived at Horsted Keynes in Sussex.

Staffordshire. A
Wyatt family had long been yeoman farmers at Weeford in Staffordshire
and their home there, from the 1560’s, was Thickbroome Hall. The
sons and grandsons of John Wyatt became noted architects, in particular
the brothers James and Samuel. This Wyatt architectural dynasty
continued through the 18th and 19th centuries.

The 20th century
journalist and politician Woodrow Wyatt was probably no
descendant but was
ennobled as Baron Wyatt of Weeford.

West Country.
Wyatts date from the 1500’s at Braunton, Shirwell and Barnstaple in NW
Devon. Other early west country sightings were at Milverton and
Martock (Hurst Barton) in
Somerset and at Todenham and Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.
John Wyatt was the rector of Friston near Bath in 1589 and William
Wyatt the town clerk of Worcester in 1621. By the late
19th century, the southwest was accounting for roughly a quarter of all
the Wyatts in England.

America. Sir Francis
Wyatt was the first colonial governor of Virginia in 1621.
Although he himself left no descendants in America, his brother the
Rev. Hawte Wyatt, who had come to Virginia at the same time, did. His
sons Edward,
George and John were the forebears – together with a Major William
Wyatt of unknown origin – of the early Wyatts in America. Later
Wyatts were to be found at Plain Dealing in Caroline county, Virginia and
across the South.

Samuel Wyatt came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1805. Early Wyatt
settlers in Missouri were:

  • Frank and Polly Wyatt (from
    North Carolina) in Warren county in 1817.
  • William and Rachel Wyatt (from Tennessee) in Boone county in the
  • Frederick and Sarah Wyatt (from Tennessee) in Andrew county in
  • William and Mary Wyatt (via
    Indiana) in Jackson county in the 1840’s.

Jordan Wyatt and his wife Susannah
arrived in Texas from Kentucky in 1846; and John and Ary Wyatt came
there from Missouri in 1853. The oil man Oscar Wyatt was born in
Beaumont, Texas in 1924.

The Wyatts in Baltimore started with James Wyatt from Bristol
marrying Mary Winslow in Barbados in 1783 while enroute to
America. They were Loyalists and eventually settled in Nova
Scotia. However, their son, the Rev. William Wyatt, moved south
and served as the rector
of Baltimore’s oldest Episcopal church for fifty years.

“On October 1, 1812 he married Miss
Frances Billop with whom he lived happily for more than fifty one
years. They were not separated until after he was confined to his
bed by his last sickness. She bore him eleven children, seven
sons and four daughters, of whom five sons and three daughters

Later Wyatts were the prominent New York investment bankers and the
actress Jane Wyatt.

Canada. Henry and Emma
Wyatt from Oakley in Suffolk came to Canada in 1841 and built their
home, Herberton House, in Burlington, Ontario, where they raised eleven
children. Emma Wyatt documented this family history in

William and Jane Wyatt were married in 1845 in the remote
North Crosby township in Leeds county, Ontario. Jane died in the
early 1850’s and William, now settled there and working as a
lumberjack, married an Ann
Taylor from Ireland.

Australia. Joseph
Wyatt, an ex-convict, pioneered theatres in Sydney, first with
the Theatre Royal in 1835
and then with his Victoria
and Prince of
theatres. However, disaster struck in 1860 when the Prince
of Wales

was burnt to the ground. Wyatt himself died later in the year.

William Wyatt who arrived in South Australia from Devon in 1837 became
a prominent local citizen and benefactor to the city of Adelaide.
he died there in 1886, he left most of his estate to the Wyatt
Benevolent Institution “to benefit persons above the laboring classes
in poor or reduced circumstances.” Almost a century later, the
fund was
still making handouts.

Wyatt Miscellany

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

Select Wyatt Names

Henry Wyatt was a trusted advisor to
both Henry VII and Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas Wyatt was an English
16th century lyrical poet.
was an 18th century English architect, a rival to Robert
Adam in the neoclassical style of that time.
Woodrow Wyatt was a
controversial and somewhat eccentric 20th century journalist, writer,
and Labor politician.
Oscar Wyatt has been a
flamboyant Texas oilman.

Select Wyatts Today

  • 16,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Surrey)
  • 17,000 in America (most numerous
    in Texas).
  • 9,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada).




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