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Family Finder
First Name:

Wyseman - Wiseman

Updated August 3, 2009

About Our Family Research


( "He is wise who is wise through GOD" )
The WYSEMAN/WISEMAN family motto.


( "Dare to be wise" )
WYSE/WISE family motto

Have researched the name "WISEMAN", "WYSEMAN", in Scotland,
and have completed a general history of the name and
and family. "WYSE" and "WISE" are described as
variations of the family surname.

The guestbook in the link "family" can be used to find ancestors or living relatives. It is located at the bottom of this

Most information is contained in the
"family photo" section of this web page. Simply click
on each specific blue underlined link in the "family photo" section.

An article in the "Sapit Journal", a
publication of the Wiseman Family Association USA,
includes information of interest to all family members.

The earliest British name version was "Wyseman" in Essex,
England. This Anglo-Saxon family originates in Scandinavia.

The most common contemporary spelling is
"Wiseman" and the name is found in England, Scotland,
Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Holland, Germany, New Zealand,
Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, USA, and Bermuda.

Our other family name variations include Ogilvie Ogilvy Gair Gayre McKay MacKay
Timmon Timmons Morrice Morice Morris Cook Cooke

Research of Scottish names is a mixed blessing. Beginnning in 1850 the parents of bride and groom were included on marriage
certificates. Also, surnames were often used as christian names
especially as the second christian name.

To offset this advantage, Scots naming patterns tend to repeat
the name of the father, grandfathers etc. in naming of new offspring.

As a result there are many "John" "Peter" etc "Wiseman" names
on record. "Margaret Ogilvie" is a fairly common combination

When identical names are close in time or place it is a
challenge to confirm a specific family connexion.

I once met a man who claimed he had researched his family
name "Smith" back to early 1600. I never knew whether to
admire his ability. his good fortune, his naivete or his
"straight face" No he was not a used car salesman!

A major Scottish dairy and an Irish vintage automobile
dealer have the family name.

The dairy, Robert Wiseman dairies, has its own
distinctive tartan.

My father's parents were Peter Wiseman and Mary Ann

Other combinations include
Peter Wiseman-Margaret Stewart Ogilvie
William Wiseman-Ann Robert
Edward Hamilton-Christina McKay
John Wiseman-Jean Jamie
Alexander Robert-Susan Morrice Morris
James Ogilvie-Mary Ellen Gair
Edward Hamilton-Sarah Timmons
James Timmons-Mary Cook(e)

These ancestors tended to be located in
Dundee, Angus, Scotland but there are
probably links to Inverness,
Aberdeen,Banff and Moray districts.
There will be many ties to English
families and likely Irish families.

Our Children are

Donald Ian Hamilton McKay
Donna-Jean Elizabeth Ann Slack
Douglas Stewart Kenning McKay

Donald is married to Kathryn Teresa { nee Morin }
Their children are
Cameron Ian Wyseman McKay
Caitlyn Dawn McKay
Kirsten Marie McKay

Donna-Jean is married to Gary Allan Slack
Their children are
Graham Dirk Slack
"Joey" Joseph Kurt Slack

Douglas is married to Sandra Mary { nee Parisien }
Their children are
Lindsay Ruth Mary McKay
Scott Douglas McKay

The "Family Photos" section contains
contains picures of my father, Warrant
Officer, John "Jock" Peter Wyseman.

He was a member of the Royal Highland
Regiment, Black Watch.He saw action
in France during WW1 (when he was about
16 years of age). He also served in Egypt, India, Malta,
and Ireland.

In WW2 with the Canadian army he was in action
at Dunkirk, D-day, liberation of Holland, and invasion of Germany.

Family Trees (viewing trees requires 4.0 or later browser)
Family Photos
  • Ancient Wyseman Family Arms (671 KB)
    Sent from Scotland as an original Scottish family arms. It may be an original English arms from Essex, England. If this is correct, heraldic authorities advise that all male descendents are entitled to these Wyseman/Wiseman original family coat of arms.

    "Whereas in England, the right to a coat of arms passes to all male descendents of the grantee, in Scotland coats of arms are considered to be heritable property and can only belong to one person at a time".

    Some experts assert that only faint protest would occcur if a female laid claim or if a claim were advanced by someone without the name but with established blood ties.

    One source records that the name was first found in Bavaria as "Wiseman" A coat of arms is described but there is no family motto. The arms display a white (ermine) chevron (inverted "v" or stripe) on a black (sable) background.

    These elements are common to most British family arms.

    They also are commonly displayed on the arms of the Wyse, Wise, families. The motto of the Wyse, Wise families is "SAPETE AUDE" or "Dare to be wise".

    The Bavarian arms shows three "pheons" which are the heads of broad arrows or javelins.

    The symbol is still in use in Britain to indicate crown property.(The "broad arrow" or "broad R").

    Most family arms display the same elements, the same colours, and the 3 components around the chevron. The fact that one has the surnames Wiseman, Wyseman, Wyse, Wise (and variations)........... does imply direct relationship. On the other hand, we are all cousins.

  • The elusive Scottish "Wyse clan" (37 KB)
    Research records the existence of a Scottish "Wyse" clan. This material is from the Chebucto Nova Scotia Canadian web site. No additional facts have been added in some time. They were found in Moray, Scotland. There is a Wyse's Corner located near Halifax in Nova Scotia, Any additional information is welcome.

  • Wyseman-Wiseman tartans (103 KB)
    Scottish families are entitled to these "district" tartans.

  • Wyseman, Wiseman district tartans (70 KB)
    This is a textual record. Scottish families are entitled to the district tartans of Angus, Lorne, and possibly Banff and Buchan. Some are entitled to many clan affiliations via the female line and as a result of intermarriages. One mystery is the Scottish clan "Wyse". Information about the clan is scarce and the name is a likely variant of Wyseman or Wiseman.

  • District tartans-an explanation (81 KB)
    Explains the significance of district tartans

  • Wiseman family of Braddocks 1/2 (228 KB)
    Provided by courtesy of Martin Wood, Leicestershire,UK. The family history records some of the RC church affiliation (nuns, priests), as well as tie to Wyseman Clagett, an early American attorney general, and to the Tudor line of kings. Information on other English families is available (see Wiseman family of Braddocks 2/2)

  • Excerpt from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 1/2 (132 KB)
    1/2 pages Shows a family Coat of Arms and records the family motto. The present title holder is the 11th and is Sir John William Wiseman bt of Canfield Hall,Essex. His immediate lineage is shown.The title is a baronet or hereditary knightship. It was originally conferred in 1628.

    Heraldic terminology for the coat of arms. sa-sable or black, ar-argent or silver, er-ermine or white, cronel-spear point or spear point protector used in jousting, chevron-stripe or inverted V, *moor-arab probably the most interesting element.

    Some Wyseman-Wiseman family members were crusaders and *this component may reflect the opposing side.

  • Sapit article 1/3. (87 KB)
    Page 1/3. The Sapit article is in 3 sections. I am sorry for the inconvenience. It is well researched and concerns general information on the name origin, family history, some selected notables.It could be of interest all with names Wyseman, Wiseman, Wyse. Wise.

  • Wiseman family of Braddocks 2/2 (173 KB)
    More information sent by Martin Wood. There is material available on Wiseman of Sparsholt Court in West Hendred, on Wiseman of Felsted Essex, and on Wiseman of Steventon. These family coats of arms are quite similar. Rivenhall and Canfield Manor were two of the early manorial estates for Essex England Wiseman families.

    For copies of these pedigree charts, I will e mail them on your request.

    My e mail is

    Thank you Martin for your consideration.

  • Excerpt from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 2/2 (98 KB)
    Only immediate relationships are recorded and many other families have established ties.

    There have been other titled family members. In some cases the honour could have been for recipients lifetime only, or may have become defunct, due to no eligible title heir.

  • Sapit article 2/3 (116 KB)
    Page 2/3

  • Scottish marriage records 1/2 (341 KB)
    Scottish marriage records can be a valuable research tool. They provide not only the spouses' names, but also names of their parents.

    This certificate records my grandfather's parents as Peter Wyseman and M. S. Ogilvie. Parents of my grandmother, Mary Ann Hamilton, are recorded as Edward Hamilton and Sarah Timmons.

  • "The Bear" (26 KB)
    This is our good friend, "The Bear" or "Bear". He is a black labrador-border collie cross. He loves people, especially kids. Nothing to do with the family genealogy but he is a beloved family member.

  • Sapit article 3/3 (107 KB)
    Page 3/3

  • Scottish marriage records 2/2 (333 KB)
    This marriage record of Peter Wiseman (note the spelling variation from Wyseman) Surname variations are common even for the same person on the same certificate.

    My gt grandfather is listed as Peter Wiseman with father William Wiseman and mother Ann Robert.

    My gt grandmother is listed as Margaret (Stewart) Ogilvie.Her parents were James Ogilvie and Mary Ellen Gair.

    Unfortunately, the collection and display of lineage and occupations began only about 1850.

  • The old soldier (64 KB)
    Warrant Officer John "Jock" Peter Wyseman, my father, after his retirement. His medals are from WW1, WW2, and in between the world wars.He is wearing some of the 14 medals he was awarded.This was taken just prior to his death in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Upon his retirement, he planted flowers in his steel battle helmet.

  • Timmon(s) Timmins Family Name (102 KB)
    Timmon(s), Timmins, family name history, the variations and family locations.

    This coat of arms is identical to the "Ancient Arms of Wyseman", which is shown elsewhere on this web page.

    It displays the family motto, SAPIT QUI DEO SAPIT

    "He is wise who is wise through God"

  • "Wiseman's Exercise" (sheet music) (94 KB)
    "Wiseman's Exercise" is an ancient, traditional bagpipe tune. It is a strathspey or reel, a dancing tune.

    Thanks to Joe Tully of Red Bank, NJ for his help in relay of the sheet music.

    The actual sound file can be obtained by your email request to

    A strathspey is a dance tune similar to a jig, but slower. It is named for a Scottish location, Strath Spey.

    A direct link to a sound file is at the bottom of this web page. Simply click on W and scroll down for "Wiseman's Exercise". The URL is

  • Wyseman, Wiseman history 1/2 (198 KB)
    General history of Wyseman, Wiseman family This is 1/2 pages.

  • Notes on exponential population growth (70 KB)
    The possible number of offspring within 20 generations can be over 1 million. This elaborates on the process.

    "Perhaps we should all put a few British history books beside our family history papers, since everything and everyone in them, up to the reign of the first Edward at least, will be as much a part of our family history as great-grandfather's last will and testament." Brian Pears. Mr. Pears points out that within a few generations all those with British ancestry are related. Given the fact of Roman, Norman, Danish etc migration and conquest, it is easy to postulate extensive European family ties as well, and to extended relationships throughout mankind.

    Thanks to "Buck" Wiseman, Louisville, Kentucky for bringing this question to attention.

  • Timmons Timmins family coat of arms (21 KB)
    This Timmons (Timmins, Timmon, Timon, Taimon, Tymons) family arms originates from Ireland. The family origin is described as Gaelic-Norman ( Viking ). Other sources record it as Anglo-Saxon in origin and first found in Kent, England.

  • Wyseman, Wiseman history 2/2 (178 KB)
    More Wyseman, Wiseman general family history. This is 2/2 pages.

  • Malcolm "Mac" Wiseman-outstanding musician (63 KB)
    "Mac" Wiseman is an exceptional performer. He is a giant in Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel music. He is also, a special person.

  • An explanation of Scottish clan association (63 KB)
    Clan association may be via direct blood lines or by way of chosen association. "Septs" are families whose names differ but who opted to join the "clan".

    To complicate the situation some clans are clans in their own right while being members of other clans. An example is our family name Gair. It is a distinct clan with its own tartan MacGair or Gayre. It is a recognised sept of the Ross clan. In case you are not totally confused so far, it is a recognised alias for the clan MacGregor!

  • Excerpt from "The Surnames of Scotland" by Black (248 KB)
    This is an excerpt from the "Surnames of Scotland" by Professor George F. Black.

    It records the family name in Angus and Moray, Scotland as early as 1232 as Wysman. It also records it in 1385,in Moray, as Wys and in Caithness, Scotland in 1381, as Wyse.

    The earliest British record is in Essex, England as Wyseman. The Essex family is believed to be the progenitor of all of the British families.

  • More on Scottish clans e.g. Hamilton (36 KB)
    The coat of arms of the Duke of Hamilton. Only the clan chief is entitled to them.

    The crest is at the top and when surrounded by a buckle and carrying the Hamilton motto, becomes the clan badge.

    The crest has an unusual history. It is claimed that a Duke of Hamilton was, many years ago, riding through a forest. He, and his companion, a personal valet, were intercepted by enemy English soldiers.

    To conceal their identity they picked up a saw found in the forest and proceeded to cut through a tree. The motto carried on the Coat of Arms is gaelic, "troimh" or "through". It is the equivalent of "timber" called when a tree is felled.

  • Faith and Begorra !.........The Irish families (119 KB)
    Many Anglo-Saxon families migrated to Ireland, (and Scotland and Wales) to escape Norman persecution.

    With the passage of years the families intermarried to the point that the family name became mostly Irish.

    Today, many Irish Wyseman-Wiseman, Wyse-Wise families are related to many Irish clans and Irish families.

  • Some Wyseman clan badges (77 KB)
    Our family is entitled to many Scottish badges and tartans.

    This is a sampling of the most recent:


    Affiliation is direct for Hamilton, Ogilvie, Robertson, Macgregor (by way of alias, Gair). It is by way of septs, or allied families for the other clans. The badge is the crest taken from the clan chieftain's coat of arms. Further research would define affiliation with most Scottish clans.

  • Some of the various family arms (143 KB)
    There are numerous family arms from England, Scotland, and Ireland. This is only a few.

  • A Scottish and an English family arms (75 KB)
    There are many different English arms.

    The Scottish one was drawn by a Scottish researcher from a textual description. Unfortunately, many family arms descriptions are only partial, or have been forever lost.

  • Some various family arms (143 KB)
    Some of the many different family arms

  • A few selected family notables (67 KB)
    There are many outstanding family members. This selection is random and many more can be recorded.

    The top right picture portrays the common ancestors of us all. (Adam and Eve}. Eve is the "apple" of Adam's eye.

  • Ancient Scottish arms-listed in Burke's Armory (21 KB)
    This is an ancient Scottish Wiseman-Wyseman family Coat of Arms.

    Scottish arms are heritable property and can be claimed by, (or owned) , only by the original grantee and his immediate heirs.

    There are many distinct and individual family Arms. These can be English, Scottish, or Irish.

    While they are different, they tend to repeat features found on the first Wyseman-Wiseman arms.

    On these Scottish arms common features include: the chevron or inverted V (usually white or ermine)( on these arms it is silver or "arg"); black or sable background; 3 elements (on these arms three gold or "or" wavy stars)

  • ROBERT origin of the surname (209 KB)
    Records infomation about the origin of the surname, ROBERT. The Scottish clan is Robertson or Donnachaid and the associated tartan and clan badge are shown. The information on name origin has been provided courtesy of Michael Roberts. My gtx3 grandmother was Ann Robert (s)

  • Family name history (149 KB)
    Family name

  • Name and family history (62 KB)
    This material originally appeared on a Scottish personal web page. It records some interesting material about family name variations, locations, and general historical information on surname origins,

    The page and its creator are not currently available on the internet.

    The sender (from Scotland) indicates that an uncommon Scottish family arms is owned by the family.

    Their family arms are described and bear close resemblance to the ancient Essex, England arms.

    The arms are: per pale or (gold) and azure (blue) on a chevron (inverted V) two dragons combatant all countercharged on a chief ermines (white) three cronels (spear points or spear head protectors for jousting) or (gold)

    A distinctive crest (or top of the family arms) is recorded: a demi (half) dragon sable (black) wings endorsed or holding in the dexter (right) claw a broken gold staff.

    The family motto is "SAPIT QUI DEO SAPIT".

  • Scottish Wyseman/Wyse coat of arms (54 KB)
    This Scottish family arms closely resembles the earlier English arms. The motto Sapit Qui Deo Sapit is the same. This is reproduced courtesy of John Wise. The related link at page bottom contains information on the earliest history of the family name.

  • More name history (132 KB)
    More name history

  • Scottish Wise, Wyse, Family Arms (7 KB)
    David Walker, Edinburgh, Scotland is the source of this Coat of Arms as well as information on the Wise, Wiseman, name history in Scotland

    Our sincere appreciation to David!

  • Ancient Essex-York family coat of arms (163 KB)
    This is a rendition of an ancient English coat of arms. It bears the family motto.

  • Still more name history! (163 KB)
    Still more name history

  • Scottish history of surname (76 KB)
    This is some history of the name, Wiseman, Wyseman, Wyse, Wise, and other surname versions.

    These are from Scottish records and the name has extensive history, in other locales, especially England and Ireland.

    Our thanks to David Walker, Edinburgh, Scotland for his valued help in provision of this, and other material

  • Scottish 1881 Census-Wyseman/Wiseman name location (83 KB)
    The family has been found in Angus and Moray districts, for many years.

    By 1881, the family name was found in many Scottish locations.

    The family name version Wyse/Wise duplicates some of the locations indicated. However, it is found in additional locales. You may find these via the Scottish 1881 census link at page bottom

  • Warrant Officer John "Jock" Peter Wyseman (111 KB)
    My father during WW2 and in the Rememberance Day parade Victoria B.C. Canada 1984.(Dad is in centre)

  • More selected notables (90 KB)
    Family ancestors have been prominent in the church.

    They were crusaders in the middle ages and Cardinal Patrick Wiseman and General Clarence Wiseman (Salvation Army) have been prominent in recent history.

    Nathaniel Gow was an acclaimed Scottish musician.

  • Wartime Pictures France, Holland,"Old Soldier" (161 KB)
    The top picture was taken during the liberation of the Netherlands. Bottom is France 1940.(dad is in centre) Right top is the "Old Soldier"

  • A comedian, a cardinal, an aviation pioneer (57 KB)
    "Morcambe and Wise" (Ernest Wiseman) UK comedians.

    Cardinal Nicholas Patrick Wiseman-a school in Coventry UK

    Fred Wiseman, his airplane in the Smithsonian.

  • Lineage of Sir John Wyseman 1 of 2 pages (54 KB)
    This is reproduced from "Our Family Museum", an extensive genealogical study by Charles Nohl Churchyard. It records the immediate lineage of Sir John Wyseman who was knighted by Henry VIII for his courage at the Battle of Spurs 1513, One Hundred Years War.

    Page 2 contains intepretations of the medieval meanings of "jure uxoris", "sheriff".

    To explore a few of the many other Wyseman/Wiseman ties to Sir John you may use a search engine to locate "Churchyard Orr Family Museum".

    There are many other surname/family links to Sir John and other Wyseman/Wiseman family members in addition to those recorded in Mr. Churchyard's valuable data base.

  • Lineage of Sir John Wyseman page 2 of 2 pages (63 KB)
    The Coat of Arms shown may be the original family arms from Essex, England. There is a larger picture in this family photo section.

    The chevron and cronels are displayed in these arms. While they are described as the "ancient arms of Wyseman", the name variation "Wiseman" is utilized interchangeably in the lineage data.

Related Files
  • "ALL" in the family (1 KB)
    Your skeletons are in my closet,and my skeletons are shaking their bones in your closet!
  • Scandinavian origin of Scottish WYSEMAN, WISEMAN (1 KB)
    Notes on the relationship of the Scottish and English families.
    The WYSEMAN, WISEMAN, surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It originates in Scandinavia and the English, Scottish, Irish names share this common source.See link to Wise webpage for more information and for copies of a Scottish and an English coat of arms.
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