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EARLY HISTORY OF THE WYMAN NAME IN ENGLAND, AND THE WYMANS OF THE HORMEADS AND WEST MILL.

It is said that the name Wyman is of Saxon origin, and was, in the manner of the earlier times, spelled Wiman, Wymant, Wymond, Wimond and in other ways.

The earliest record of the name as now spelled is that of the town of Wymondham in Leicestershire, England, which was called in ancient writings Wymanham and Wymand's Town. There was one Wymand, son of Witlaf, king of the Mercians, and that town being in that province, probably he had it for a part of his maintenance." (Nichol's History of Leicestershire).

In Cussan's History of Hertfordshire, it is said that "the manors Great Wymondley and Little Wymondley were formerly the lea or pasture lands of a Saxon named Wymond, and as a portion of it belonged to the nuns of Chatteris in Cambridgeshire until 1063, it is probable that it was given by Raymond, son of Witlaf, king of Mercia, who was a great benefactor of Chatteris".

Mercia was the middle one of the provinces of England, and attained to its greatest extent of territory in the year 825, embracing parts of Hertfordshire and Leicestershire among its other possessions. Withlaf&Dash;at times spelled Witlaf&Dash;was king, and the last one before this country was merged into one, and under one king; Wymand,&Dash;at times spelled Wigmand,&Dash;was his son.

The Patronymica Brittanica gives the name as derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal name of Wimond, and that Wymondham in Norfolk county derived the name as the house of Wimond, a Saxon proprietor.

In the Doomsday Book (1086 AD).), and the Winton Supplement, the name is seen in many places; it appears as having been used since Withlaf's time in giving name to different localities, as

Wimundele&Dash;Wimund's field or pasture

Wimundes wald&Dash;Wimund's Wymand's wood or forest

Wimundum &Dash; Wyman's town

Wimundstrev &Dash; Wimund's tree

. . . and many others of like character.

The name also appears as the name of an individual in Wallington, near West Mill, and in other places, as a tenant of lands, and from the year 1220 as tile name of a rector in parishes instituted from time to time.

The Wyman name was spelled at times in a dozen ways. John Wyman of Oxford, sometime before 1527, gave authority to the present spelling, and Francis and John, American progenitors, standardized it for their posterity.

The name first appears in West Mill parish church records with the marriage of Francis Wymant and Elizabeth Richardson May 2, 1617, aadl subsequent vital statistics as to births and deaths in the family. Their location was at Brook End, about one mile from West Mill church, and later at Brook Green, one-half mile front Brook End.

Wymondham in Leicestershire and Wymondham in Norfolk county are about 60 miles apart; each is about that distance from West Mill: all the places above mentioned are between or near those places.

The West Mill church (St. Mary's) was built in the 13th century; it is of early English architecture, and has decorated windows, square embattled tower, arched doorway with carved figures, and old oaken door, weather-stained and swung upon curiously wrought hinges.

The parish register, still extant, was commenced in 1562; what remains consists of a few leaves of parchment fastened together, with some pages of entries upside down. Before the discovery in 1895 of the name of Francis Wyman in this register it was thought of little value.

The early records of Great and Little Hormead have been badly mutilated, and many pages lost, and what remain contain no mention of the Wyman family.

The earliest record yet obtained of any direct ancestor of Wyman families who were living in Great and Little Hormead in 1895 is that of Francis Wyman, born 1731.

In 1895 there were but two houses standing in Brook End, and the sites shown of others which had been destroyed, one presumably being that of the home of the Francis Wyman whose two sons emigrated to America in 1640.

The country is slightly undulating, with some elevation in the distance, hedges and trees surround the broad fields, and the whole character of the country appears quiet, peaceful and secluded.

Buntingford was the post town for West Mill, Great and Little Hormead and some parishes in that vicinity. In 1895, Hormead Hall remained the ancestral home of a Wyman family; Mutford, near by, was the residence of John Wyman, brother of the owner of Hormead Hall; Stonebury was formerly the residence of Francis Wyman (1731-1794), and he was succeeded by his son Francis, who lived there during his lifetime. Little Hormead Bury was the residence of Richard Wyman, who purchased it in 1806; he was the son of Francis Wyman, of Stonebury; his son Francis was born at )1utford, and lived there during his lifetime, and his son John was living there in 1895; another son, Walter Wescott Wyman was the proprietor of Hormead Hall.

Both Stonebury and Mutford are in the parish of Little Hormead and near Little Hormead Bury. The mansions of both Stonebury and Mutford are about a half mile from the traveled road, with private roads leading through the cultivated fields. The mansion of Little Hormead Bury is just opposite the church, on an elevation, and overlooking a considerable extent of country.

Hormead Hall is an interesting place; the mansion was formerly entirely surrounded by a moat, with a drawbridge for access to the place; part of the moat has been filled up; what is left forms a sheet of water about 50 feet distant from the buildings in front, with a lawn sloping to the water's edge, and beyond are flower beds, shrubbery, etc., with a rustic bridge connecting the two sides. The house was probably built in the 16th century, and architecture is a good specimen of the hall or mansion house of that period; the chimney shafts clustered together and ornamented, the bay windows and porches, are all features in mansion houses first introduced in that, the Tudor period.

Great and Little Hormead and West Mill are mentioned in the Domesday Book of England, made by William the Conqueror in 1086, as manors; they were latter instituted into parishes. The two churches of Great and Little Hormead are about a quarter of a mile apart; they arc now united under one pastor at Great Hormead.

Some of the Wymans are interred in the churchyards at Little Hormead Bury and the Braughing parish church, two miles from Stonebury,

The Coat of Arms of the Wymans now living in this part of England consists of a crest&Dash;a cock on a sheaf of wheat crosswise &Dash;(and it is authenticated by Washbourn's "Family Crests")&Dash;three "fire balls", and the motto "Audax et vigilans" &Dash;Boldness and Vigilance. It is inferred the Arms were granted for a deed of valor performed by some ancestor in war.

Authors who have traced the Wyman name as of Saxon derivation have much to say concerning the influence of the Saxon blood in changing&Dash;or making&Dash;England, as: "The Saxons were a people with a high chivalrous sense of honor; they held the fair sex in veneration, and advocated 'woman's rights' after a manner never before known; and thus the characteristics for which the Anglo-Saxons have become famous in all parts of the world were early engrafted on the rude British mind. From the time of Alfred the Great, the Saxon people in Britain have been rapid in their march of civilization".

HERTFORDSHIRE ("Herts" ) &Dash; AND ITS HISTORY

About the beginning of the Christian era, Herts was the center of one group of British tribes; here they minted some of their coins, some of which have been unearthed in modern times.

During the Roman conquest, Herts became an important "Roman Station". After the Roman yoke fell off, and in about the 6th century, the East Saxons settled about Hertford. In the year 673 it was sufficiently important for the meeting of a Synod. Two years later the Witenagemot assembled at what is now Hatfield. In 793, Offa, King of Mercia, founded a Benedictine Abbey at St. Albans.

Under Alfred the Great (849-900), who succeeded King Ethelred in 871, the foundations of a strong naval power were laid.

After the battle of Hastings, AD. 1066, the invader, William the Conqueror, ravaged the shire as far as Berkhampstead, where the Conquest received formal recognition. It was likewise ravaged by king John's army in the war between him and his barons. In 1216, Hertford Castle was captured by Louis, king of France, whom the barons had invited into England. It was the scene of many battles in the wars of the Roses (1455-85).

The shire has had parliamentary representation since AD. 1290. While the county is in close proximity to London, it has maintained an agricultural character, some 3/4 of its area being under cultivation, its fertile soil producing wheat, oats, barley, vegetables, fruits and berries; while its green pastures afford grazing for cattle and sheep. Hertford, the county seat, is but 24 miles from London. There is a large suburban population resident in the many attractive villages throughout the county.




Early History of the Wyman Name




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