History of name: WHITE

The White Name "The spellings: Whyte, Hulta, Huuita and Hwita occur ap personal names in O.E. (Old English) characters. It is from the O.E. hwit, "white". White is also found as a byname. There follows a list, with dates, showing incidence of various spellings recorded in early documents: Albus- 1240 Quheit-1587 Qwyth-1482 Quhyt - 1289 Quheitt-1588 Qwite-1407 Qwhyt-1376 Quhit-1497 Qwyt-1471 Qwhit-1742 Quhite-1493 Whyt-1648 Quheyt-1525 Quhyt-1462 Whytt-1677 Whytte-1658 Quyt-1606 Source: Black-Surnames of Scotland. Page 811 "white comes from Hwita (the white, fair), an ancient English baptismal name of Saxon origin. Hwita originally indicated a person of light, fair complexion. Ina document dated 1024 we find: 'Tovi Hwita' (Tovi, the White). White is sometimes a shortened form of the Old English patronymic form of Whiting, (descendent of White)" White is also Anglicized from the German Weiss (White) or from the French Blanch or Blanchard. In Middle English the Old English Hwita becomes Wyte, usually written "le Wyte". The Middle English wiht (brave) may be another source of White. The names Wynn, Winn, Wynne are all Welsh cognates of White, when not from the Old English wyn (friend, protector.") It is curious that the surname Black is occasionally derived from the Middle English blac (pale, white), a word related to bleach, hence we discover that Black is White - one of the many surprises encountered in tracing the origins of names. See also: Gwin, Black, Schwarz, Weiss.

Source: These names of Ours by A.W. Dellquist-Thos. Y. Crowell, 1938 "....the names of those who bore the complimentary name wiht (Middle English for 'valiant') are now indistinguishable from those that represent color."

Source: Bowman-The Story of Surnames, page 184