Select Weaver Surname Genealogy

Weaving as an occupation has generated a number of surnames: Webb, Webster, Webber, and Weaver.  The Webb and Webster surnames, which derived from the Old English word webba, have a south/north divide. 

Weaver has tended to be much more geographic specific, being found first in Cheshire.
  Here the name could have come from another Old English word for weaving, wefan; or it could have been locational, from the river Weaver (and the Old English wefere meaning "winding stream").

In America the German Weber often became Weaver.

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Select Weaver Ancestry

EnglandWeaver Manor on the Weaver river in Cheshire was recorded as Wevre in the Domesday Book and as Wevere in 1300.  The lords of Weaver became known as de Weaver and the first recorded of that name was William de Weaver in 1225.  Weavers remained the lords until Thomas Weaver died without male issue in 1446.  Other Weavers were to be found by that time at Kinderton and Middlewich nearby.  Weavers were recorded at Aston and Weaverham along the river Weaver in the 1580 Visitations of Cheshire.

Another Weaver line, with connections going back to Wales and Shropshire in the 13th century, was to be found in Aymestrey and Presteign in Herefordshire.  Weavers of this family were MP's for Hereford during the 17th century.  The line also included Clement Weaver, an early immigrant to America. These Weavers were described in Lucius Weaver's 1928 book History and Genealogy of a Branch of the Weaver Family.

There were Weavers in Worcestershire by the 17th century.  One family line traces back to Bromsgrove in the 1680's and possibly earlier.  The will of William Weaver of Over Hanley was recorded in 1685.  Samuel Weaver was born in Mitton in 1725.

By the time of the 1891 census Weaver was still very much a name of the western parts of England, with the main numbers to be found in a line stretching south from Lancashire into Gloucestershire.

America.  Clement Weaver first arrived in America around 1640 and came to Newport, Rhode Island about a decade later.  He was said by profession to be a wall builder and he constructed for himself a stone house which lasted into the 20th century.  He was the immigrant ancestor of thousands of Weaver descendants in America today.

One line of these Weavers ended up on the West Coast in the late 19th century.  Sylvester Weaver was a successful roofing contractor in the early days of Los Angeles.  His two sons Pat and Doodles started out in West Coast radio.  Pat Weaver rose to be President of NBC in the 1950's.  Doodles was an on-screen comedian who later shot himself.  Pat's daughter is the actress Sigourney Weaver.   

Pennsylvania.  The Weaver numbers are much greater in America than in England.  The reason why can be seen in the state which had and still has the largest number of Weavers in the country.  Pennsylvania was the avenue for early German immigrants and many Webers (German for "weavers") became Weavers there. 

The first Webers in America were probably Mennonites.  Weber is an old Mennonite family name of Swiss origin.  Several Webers emigrated from the Palatinate to Lancaster county in the early 18th century.

The brothers Jacob, Henry, George, and John Weber are known to have arrived around 1710. The first three established a settlement in land which came to be known as Weberthal or Weaverland and from which the present Mennonite church takes its name.  Jacobís grandson Joseph, born in 1765, was the first to be styled Weaver. Meanwhile another Jacob Weber came to New York state.  He and his descendants were to be found at German Flats in the Mohawk valley.

Outside Switzerland, the Weber name in Germany was mostly to be found in Rheinland and in Baden-Wurttemburg.  Among the subsequent Webers/Weavers who came to Pennsylvania were:
  • Casper Weber who came to Lancaster county around 1720.  His grandson, born there in 1747, was Casper Weaver.
  • Michael Weber who arrived as a young man on the Lydia from Wurttemburg in 1741.  He died in Belefonte, Centre county.  Kathryn Reighardís 1988 book Weaver: The History of Ten Generations traced the descendants of Michael Weaver and his wife Anna Barbara. 
  • and Johann Weber who arrived in the 1750ís from Baden and settled in Lehigh county.  His grandson, born there in 1823, was Enos Weaver.
Many Weavers stayed in Pennsylvania.  Others headed westward.  The descendants of Adam Weaver, found in Haines township tax lists until 1817, ended up in Stark county, Ohio.  Craven Weaverís descendants moved via North Carolina to Tennessee and later onto Illinois.
John Weaver - the mayor of Philadelphia from 1903 to 1907 - was not German but came from immigrant English stock, being born in Stourport, Worcestershire.

Canada.  Many of the early Weavers in Canada were Loyalists and, curiously, more of German than of English stock.  

Francis Weaver fought with Butlerís Rangers as a teenager during the Revolutionary War. Peter Weber/Weaver was a Hessian soldier who deserted his troops in New Jersey.  Both ended up in the Niagara region.  Francis fought against the Americans again in 1812.  In 1830 George and Catherine Weaver came to this area from Alsace on the German/French border.

Select Weaver Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Weaver Names

John Weaver was a famous dancing master in England in the 18th century and the man who introduced pantomimes into England.
The Weavers were a popular American folk-singing quartet of the 1950's.
Pat Weaver was the innovative President of NBC in the 1950's.
Earl Weaver was a successful baseball manager for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970's and 80's.
Sigourney Weaver is an American film actress.

Select Weavers Today
  • 15,000 in the UK (most numerous in Lancashire)
  • 52,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania) 
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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