Up unto the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066, the Staffordshire region of England was populated with various tribes including the Saxons, who had moved a whole nation of people from Northern Germany to England; the Angles, a tribe from the southern part of Germany and from which England derived it's name; and the Danes from Denmark.
After William the Conqueror took the throne of England, French settlers came to live all over the lands. By the time the Whitehurst surname began to show up in writings and documents in the thirteenth century, the area around the "white woods" outside of the village of Dilhorne would be made up of people from many different nationalities, all using the phrase de Whitehurst after their given names, such as "William of Whitehurst from Staffordshire." With so many bloodlines eventually using the same surname, the Whitehurst family line can claim no one genetic origin. We go back to Germany, France, Scandanavia, and who knows where else.
But this one thing we do know, we are proud of our family heritage, and though the Whitehursts have faced extreme hardship as they pushed away from their island to explore the world, we faced that challenge strongly and have survived!
The Whitehurst family is from England, specifically an area of England called Staffordshire which is known for its white wooded hills. (The surname Whitehurst means "white wood" or "white wooded hills".) There are numerous variations of the spelling of "Whitehurst", some of which are Whitehurst, Whitehest, Whiteherst, Whithurst, Whitherst, Whyteherst, Whytehurst, and Whitus. For more on the Whitehurst family, read on. If you have knowledge to add about the family, please do so.
The surname Whitehurst gets it's origin from a region of England known for its white barked trees. The component elements of the name are the Old English pre 7th Century "hwit", (in Medieval English it's "whit"), which means "white", plus, "hyrst", which is a wood or wooded hill.
Nationality & Ethnicity
The surname of Whitehurst, and all its alternate spellings, has England as it's country of orgin. It combines two Old English words meaning "white trees" or "white woods" and was originally a description of a region of white wooded hills in Staffordshire, England.
The surname of Whitehurst gets it's origin from a region of England known for its white barked trees. The component elements of the name are the Old English pre 7th Century "hwit", (Medieval English "whit"), which means "white", plus, "hyrst", which is a wood or wooded hill.
The region of Whitehurst was a medieval settlement just outside of Dilhorne, a village in Staffordshire, England, known for its white-barked trees. Prior to surnames, people generally indentified themselves either by paternal or regional referrence, such as "de Whitehurst" in Staffordshire. An example of this is Hugo de Whitehurst who is mentioned in documents dated 1250 and 1281.
Eventually the "de" or "of" was dropped and the region became the people's surname. This of course would involve large families of differenting genetic origins, all claiming the same surname, leading to the muddying of specific historical origins.
After Whitehursts traveled to America in 1636 and the family line expanded, many Whitehurst families in the southern colonies would own slaves. It was common practice for slaves to take on the surname of their owners and this is how African Americans came to possess the surname of Whitehurst.
These are the earliest records we have of the Whitehurst family.