The surname of WHISMAN was a nickname 'the clever and learned man'. It is interesting to note that the instances found in medieval documents are nearly all from University counties. Early records of the name mention Roger Wyseman, 1273 County Cambridge. John Wysman, County Oxford, ibid. John Wysman was documented in County Oxford in the year 1283. Johannes Wysman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Duncombe married Margaret Wiseman at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1656. The name is also spelt WYSMAN, WISEMANN and WYSEMAN. The name WHISMAN is also an old surname from Angus and Moray, and Andrea Wysman who witnessed a charter in the lands of Dolays Myche, in 1232, appears to be the first of the name on record. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western areas of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Canfield Hall, County Essex.
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