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Surname Wainright - Meaning and Origin

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Wainright: What does the surname Wainright mean?

The last name Wainwright is of Old English origin and is an occupational surname. It referred to an individual who crafted wagons or carts. The name is derived from the Old English words ‘wegen’ which means a wagon and ‘wryhta’ which means a worker or shaper, pretty much similar to a smith. Therefore, a Wainwright was a person who built and repaired wagons and other types of horse-drawn vehicles. Over time, the name evolved into its modern forms such as "Wainwright," "Waynewright," "Waynwright," and few others. Its usage as a family name can be traced back to ancient Saxon tribes in Britain. It was during the Middle Ages, when the need for surnames or family names arose for practical purposes like taxation, that this occupational name transitioned to a family name.

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Wainright: Where does the name Wainright come from?

The last name Wainright is common in many countries around the world, but is more predominantly found in the United States and Canada. It is derived from the Old English name Wainwrige and is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Historically, the Wainright name can be traced back to the 13th century in Yorkshire, England.

In the United States, the 2000 census reported approximately 44,203 people with the Wainright surname. It was found to be most prevalent in Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. The highest density of people bearing the Wainright surname is found in West Virginia.

In Canada, the Wainright surname is found in scattered provinces primarily in the West. The highest concentrations of Wainrights are found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Ontario.

In the United Kingdom, the Wainright surname is most widely scattered across East and West Sussex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, and Kent.

Due to the name Wainright being an English surname it is popular in all countries of the British Commonwealth such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Immigrants from England and other countries such as Ireland, Scotland and Wales have helped to form and shape the United States, Canada and other countries. This is true of the Wainright surname and could explain why it is found in many countries around the world.

Variations of the surname Wainright

The surname Wainright is believed to be an English patronymic, derived from the given name Waenryht, which in turn is derived from the Old English personal name ‘Waegenryht’ meaning ‘wagon-rider’. The variation ‘Waenryht’ was popular in the 13th century and is attested in the Hundred Rolls of 1273 in Lancashire, where four bearers were found.

Other variants of the surname, spelling variations, and derivatives of Wainright include Wainright, Waineright, Wayneright, Wainerite, Weaneright, Weyneright, Wininger, Weninger, Woninger, Waynrich, Wainwright, Wenwright, Weninger, Winniger, Waynwright, Wynwright, Rainwright, Raineeroot, and Rainerght.

In the United States, the Wininger surname branches off to the Wenninger, Wininger, and Weininger family names. In Ellis Island immigration records, the surname was often misconstrued from one variation to another, thus providing a peek into the origins of the Wainright surname.

Wainright is also a well-known surname in New Zealand. There, the surname is found with numerous spelling variations, such as Wainerite, Wainerite, Wnenrite, Weynrite, Weninger, Waninger, and Waynwright. In Scotland, the Wainright surname can be found as Waninger, Waninger, Wainerite, Weynrite, Wainwright, Waynwright, and Wynwright.

The Wainright surname has extended to many countries, providing an indication of the global reach of this name. Despite the wide variety of spellings that have evolved from this name, Wainright is still widely recognized and used in many different countries.

Famous people with the name Wainright

  • Rufus Wainwright: Canadian-American singer-songwriter and composer
  • Loudon Wainwright III: American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor
  • Kate McGarrigle: Canadian folk singer and songwriter
  • Martha Wainwright: Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter
  • Sloan Wainwright: American folk and jazz singer-songwriter
  • Martin Wainwright: British journalist
  • Anna Wainwright: Australian actress
  • Daniel Wainwright: English actor
  • Suzanne Wainwright-Evans: Author and Speaker
  • Nathan Wainwright: American actor

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