The family name appears on various early documents such as in a charter of Æthelred II, dated 1005 A.D. where one of the witnesses signs his name as Ego Wi [th] er minister. In the
Domesday Bookof 1089 the name is shown as a tenant prior to that date. In the 11th century, the name showed no prefix, suggesting that it was not derived from a place, as were many names at that time. Rather, the name was apparently personal. The meaning of the name is uncertain. Various authorities have proposed "wider" ( Old English, "wood"), or words meaning "to withstand", "warrior" or "willow tree".
Records of the 11th century indicate the holding of land in many counties of England by persons named Wyther. A continuous record of a Wyther family does not appear until the time of Henry II (reigned 1154-89). This was a Wyther family of County Lancaster (now
Lancashire) including Sir Robert Wyther, Knight, of Pendleton Hall, Lancashire, and of Halton, Cheshire, Seneschal to Roger de Lucy, Constable of Chester(1179-89). He married Joan, daughter of Sir Adam de Bostock, Knight, of Davenham, County Chester (now Cheshire).
By the 15th century, Wyther families descended from Sir Robert Wyther were living in
Cheshire, Lancaster, Wiltshire, Essex, London, Somersetshire, and HampshireCounties. (For the Hampshire County branch, see "Berry's Hampshire County Genealogy".)
Notable people named Withers, Wither, or Wyther
Alexander Scott Withers, historian of early Appalachian Indian-White Warfare
Bill Withers, African-American singer-songwriter
Charles W. J. Withers, Scottish historical geographer
*Garrett Lee Withers (1884-1953), U.S. Senator & U.S. congressman from Kentucky
George Wither(1588-1667), English poet and satirist
Googie Withers, British movie actress
Grant Withers(1905-1959), American movie actor
H. W. Withers, American college basketball coach
Hartley Withers, financial journalist
Hildegarde Withers, fictional character appearing in novels by Stuart Palmer
Jane Withers, American radio, television and movie actress
Jones M. Withers(1814-1890), American lawyer, politician & Confederate general
Lincoln Withers, Australian rugby league player
Mark Withers, American television actor
Michael Withers, Irish rugby league player
Pick Withers, drummer for the rock band Dire Straits
Ramsey Muir Withers, former Chief of the Defence Staff, Canadian Armed Forces.
*Reginald Grieve Withers, former Australian Senator
*Dr. Robert Enoch Withers (1821–1907), U.S. Senator (Virginia) & U.S. Consul to Hong Kong
Steve Withers, American pianist
William Withers(1657-1720), Lord Mayor of London (1707-1708)
*Matt Withers (1979- ) Political Correspondent, Wales on Sunday
*"Withers Family of the County
Lancaster, England, and of Stafford County, VirginiaEstablishing the Ancestry of Robert Edwin Withers, III" Presented by Mr. Robert Edwin Withers, Sr. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1947).
*"Berry's Hampshire County Genealogy"
*Bigg-Wither, Reginald Fitz Hugh, "Materials for a History of the Wither Family",
Winchester: Warren & Son, 1907.
*Gatewood, Virginia Pierce and Robert L., "A Withers-Downey Genealogy: A Withers History With Allied Lines", Conway, AR: 1966.
*Recum, Franz V., "Withers -- America or A Collection of Genealogical Data Concerning the History of the Descendants in the Male Line of James Withers (1680/1-1746) of Stafford County, Virginia", New York: 1949.
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