Surname Wagstaff - Meaning and Origin
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Wagstaff: What does the surname Wagstaff mean?
Wagstaff is an English surname with a very curious and humorous origin. It is derived from the Old English terms "wagian" which means to "shake" or "wag" and "staff", a generic term for a stick, pole, or rod. Thus, the literal translation would be "shake stick," and it was originally used as a nickname, possibly for someone who carried a staff or rod and had a habit of shaking or waving it around. It could also refer to someone who was expressive or demonstrative in their behavior, much like how we use the term "wag" today to describe a witty, teasing person.
The name Wagstaff became established in England in the Middle Ages and has been commonly found across the country, especially in the northern regions. Like many other surnames, the exact significance or story behind the name would likely have varied for each original bearer, though today it is simply inherited without such personal associations. Notably, persons named Wagstaff have contributed to fields such as academia, arts, sports, and public service.
Wagstaff: Where does the name Wagstaff come from?
Today, the surname Wagstaff can be found in a variety of places around the world, including the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, and many other countries. In the United States, Wagstaff is most common in the West and Midwest regions, with states such as California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois having some of the highest concentrations. People with the Wagstaff name can also be found in a number of other countries such as France, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and parts of South America.
The Wagstaff surname is believed to have originated from England and Scotland, and its variants are associated with various places and townships with the same name in both countries. It is also thought to be derived from the Old English words 'waeg' and 'staf', meaning 'wave' and 'staff'.
Wagstaff is typically a patronymic surname, meaning that those with the last name are descended from someone with the first name 'Wag', and this is borne out by many records from the 17th to 19th centuries in England and Scotland. The name is also associated with a few companies in the US, Canada, and England, such as a venture capital firm called Wagstaff Inc.
It appears that the Wagstaff name has spread throughout the world over the course of centuries, with people bearing the name in a variety of countries across the globe.
Variations of the surname Wagstaff
The surname Wagstaff is believed to have established in the early 13th century in both England and Scotland. It is an habitation name, derived from a place-name, and it means 'dweller at or from a staff-shaped piece of land.' The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for Wagstaff include Waegstaff, Waigstaff, Waggstaff, Wagstaffe, Waggstaffe, Waigstaffe, Waigstoffe, Wagstoff, Waegstoff, Waggstoffe, Wagestoff, and Weigstoffe.
The Wagstaff surname is also believed to have first appeared in the U.S. in Virginia in the 1700s. Some bearers of the Wagstaff surname went on to settle in the Appalachian Mountains, with many of their descendants eventually residing in Kentucky and Tennessee. The variants of Wagstaff in the U.S. include Wagestoff, Weigstaff, Waggstaff, Wigstaff, Wagstaffe, Wageoff, and others.
In addition to the Wagstaff surname, there are a number of other surnames that are derived from the same root, including Wigham, Whitsun, Whitson, Whistow, and Whicher. These are all variants of the same name, with the prefix “Whits” being a shortened version of the name “Wagstaff”.
The Wagstaff surname is a relatively uncommon name, however it can still be found in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and other countries throughout the world. As a result of migration and migration patterns, there are a significant number of different variants and spellings of the name Wagstaff that can be found. With the help of genealogists, one can trace the different spellings and variants of the Wagstaff surname to trace the origins of their ancestors and gain a better understanding of their family history.
Famous people with the name Wagstaff
- Gordon Wagstaff: New Zealand Politician
- Vanessa Wagstaff: British Labour politician
- Grant Wagstaff: English football player
- John Wagstaff: American entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Jeff Wagstaff: Former Western Australian Liberal politician
- Lawrence Wagstaff: English cricket player
- Juanita Wagstaff: American painter
- Arthur Wagstaff: Former Australian Rules Football player
- Ian Wagstaff: British motor-racing driver
- Brandon Wagstaff: Uruguayan musician and singer-songwriter