The following two maps show the spread of the name in North West England over time. In the 16th Century, the majority of the Whitters were concentrated in Frodsham and Tarporley. Almost all documents from this period come from these places. As can be seen from the maps, however, Whitters can also be occasionally found in other places in Cheshire and in Lancashire. But not in large numbers as in Frodsham and Tarporley.
It can be assumed that the Whitters were long settled in Frodsham and Tarporley even before the Parish Registers were introduced in 1558. In George Ormerod’s “History of the County Palantine and City of Chester” Vol. 2, page 127 shows that one Willielmus Wittur was a Rector of Tarporley as early as 1499 and states: “William Wyttur, who survived to 1546, was most probably displaced at the Reformation.” He was a man of considerable substance, of a family long settled at Tarvin, and in the parish of Frodsham.
- Yellow – Baptism, Marriage & Burials in the 16th Century
In the 18th century, the name spread to large parts of southern Lancashire. Thomas Witter, who was probably born in Weston (near Runcorn) in 1721, is the common ancestor of much of the Whitters who lived in Lancashire in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was married in Parbold in 1743 and lived in nearby Wrightington at the time. From there his descendants spread westwards to Halsall, Formby and Bootle and eastwards to Wigan, Bolton and Manchester.
There were also some Whitters in Preston, Liverpool and Warrington that do not descend from him. However, much of these Whitters can still be traced back to Cheshire.
Spread of the Surname according to Parish Registers, Census Data & Family Trees:
- Green – 18th Century
- Blue – 19th Century