Updated June 9, 2019

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Family name origins & meanings

  • English : occupational name for a white-leather dresser, from Middle English whit ‘white’ + taw(i)er ‘tawer’ (from an agent derivative of Middle English taw(en) ‘to prepare’).
  • John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92), poet and active opponent of slavery, was descended from Thomas Whittier, who came to MA from England in 1638.