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Surname Weightman - Meaning and Origin

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Weightman: What does the surname Weightman mean?

The surname Weightman is an English patronymic name that was derived from a medieval given name. The name is derived from the Middle English language and translates to “the son of Walter.” The personal name Walter is derived from the Old German "walther" which means “rule of the people.”

Weightman is ahabitational name that was most likely derived from locations in the North of England. The name is most common in the North and North Midlands of England. Back in the Middle Ages, many people with this surname would have lived near places such as Lancashire, Yorkshire, Essex, and Lincolnshire.

The name Weightman first appears in written records in 1198, with a John Walter in the county of Essex. Later in the 1200s, the name was also found in Lincolnshire, when a William Walter is recorded as holding lands there.

Today, there are several spelling variants of the Weightman name including Wightman, Whyteman, Whiteman, Whytemore, Whateley, and Whetman. Although the spelling variations of this name have changed over the years, all of these names can likely be traced back to the same origin of the medieval given name Walter.

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Weightman: Where does the name Weightman come from?

The last name Weightman is not particularly common, but it does have some historical significance for many countries around the world. The surname is believed to have Anglo-Saxon origins, and is likely derived from the phrase “weyte man,” meaning weightman or carter.

Today, the surname is most common in England. In the 1881 UK census, the Weightman surname was most common in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Smaller numbers of families with the last name Weightman can also be found in parts of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

In the United States, the surname is believed to have been introduced in the 1700s, when English or Scottish immigrants settled in the region from Virginia to New York State. Today, those with the Weightman surname or its variants can be found in states throughout the US, with much higher numbers in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Thanks to advances in genealogical research, individuals with the Weightman surname can trace their family history back many generations. By researching birth and death certificates, land records, and other various documents, it is possible to trace a Weightman family line back hundreds of years.

Variations of the surname Weightman

The surname Weightman is of ancient English origin, and is thought to come from the Old English word 'weacmann', meaning a weaver. Variations and spellings of this surname include Waitman, Waiteman, Waiteyman, Wateyman, Weightmen, Waiteman, Waytman, Waytheman, Waythoman, Wheatman, Wheetman, and Wetman.

The name Weightman first appears in records in the 12th century, when several men named William, Alan, and Philip Waiteyman were registered in the county of Essex, England. By about 1400, Thomas Waytman and Robert Weightman were recorded living in Yorkshire, England.

Today the Weightman surname is found mostly in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Curiously, the American spelling was altered slightly, with 'Weightman' becoming 'Waitman'. This new spelling was possibly chosen to avoid confusion between the name and the word 'weight' due to its phonetic similarity. There are still a number of people worldwide who keep the original spelling, and some of them are descended from a line of nobility.

The Weightman surname has many variants, spellings, and distant derivatives, but the meaning of this ancient name remains the same. All the spellings still refer to a weaver or to someone who worked in the wool industry, and ultimately to their surname, Weightman.

Famous people with the name Weightman

  • John Weightman: British actor
  • Luke Weightman: former Australian rules footballer
  • Nicole Weightman: former British athlete, represented in the 2002 Commonwealth games
  • Elsie Weightman: English sculptor
  • Emma Weightman: Australian volleyball player
  • Bill Weightman: American singer-songwriter
  • James Weightman: British actor and writer
  • Helen Weightman: Welsh international netball player
  • Stephen Weightman: English football player
  • Dennis Weightman: British actor

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