The Whartons are descendents of norseman who conquered the province of Normandy around 900 and settled near Caen in present day France. The first Wharton in England was an officer with William the Conquerer -- Gilbert de Querton (as it was orignially spelled) -- who arrived in 1066 with the Norman invasion of England and married into the de Hastings line.
The de Querton name is probably of celtic origin -- meaning something similar to a grove of apple trees or a hill with apple trees. The celtic alphabet was designated by trees and the letter Q, or "queirt
," was represented by the apple tree. The suffix "ton
" was commonly used to denote "a hill" of "by something" (which was often a hill). Names such as Appleton or Appleby may actually be anglisized versions of the de Querton family name. The family name first became Quarton, then Wherton, eventually becaming Whorton. English records indicate that there are many forms of the name -- Warton, Wartone, Whartin, Wharten, Wartun, and Whartun -- though generally Wharton is the spelling most commonly used in America.
Wharton Coat-of-Arms and Estates
Upon his marriage to Emma de Hastings, Gilbert de Querton (the originator of the Wharton line of descent in England) had no coat of arms of his own. He adopted the Hastings coat of arms after making a few changes, but the original coat of arms that has come to be known as the Wharton Sleeve is predominantly the Hastings Sleeve. To their credit, however, the Whartons added some notable changes over the years. The maunch is a bordure of lion's paws. It was added approximately 300 years later to commemorate a decisive victory over the Scots at Solom Moss on Solway Firth in 1542 by Thomas Wharton, the first Baron Wharton. One of the most ancient descriptions of the Wharton coat of arms is noted in the Encyclopedia of Heraldry (Burke 1844) -- the crest being a bulls head erased argent [view image
]. The motto is "Pleasur en faits d'armes," or "Pleasure in feats (deeds) of arms."
In 1292, Gilbert de Querton had proved title to the Manor of Querton, Appleby, Westmoreland County. This manor was located in the southeastern corner of the county, less than a mile east of Kirkby Stephen. It consisted of a tower called Lammerside, and overlooked the village of Querton. The Eden River [view photo
] ran through the estate, which was bordered on three sides by high mountains. In the early 15th century, Wharton Hall was constructed which the family made its official residence, vacating Lammerside. In 1715, Sir Thomas Wharton was made the first Marquis of Wharton Hall, but his grandson died childless and Wharton Hall was eventually sold in 1735. Today it stands as an impressive reminder of the favor that the Wharton family once held in high English politics [view photo
Lines of Descent
Many of the Whartons who descended from the family's progenitor -- Gilbert de Querton -- became knights and as a consequence accumulated land, or married well and attained the same result. Three disctinct lines of descent formed based on their location: the Whartons of Westmoreland, Kirkby Thor, and Old Park.
Sir Thomas Wharton, the 9th direct descendent of Norman invader Gilbert de Querton and 4th direct descendent of Henry de Wharton of Westmoreland, was granted peerage and became the first Lord Wharton in 1545. His direct descendents were:
Unfortunately, the son of Sir Philip Wharton, Thomas Wharton (the seventh Lord Wharton and second Duke) died childless and the line of noble Whartons died out.
In 1682, a different Thomas Wharton (b.1644 d.1718), commonly called Thomas "The Immigrant," left England for America. He was the son of Richard Wharton of Orton, Overton Parish, Westmoreland. No direct linkage has yet been established between my great-great-great-grandfather, Isaac Wharton (b.1784 d.1850 at Gulph Mills in what was then Philadelphia County), and Thomas "The Immigrant," or any of his progeny for that matter. Until an actual linkage can be made, it remains uncertain if our particular branch is descended from the Whartons of Westmoreland, Kikby Thor, or Old Park.