Welcome to Wishart Connections!
A website concerned with ‘all things Wishart’ whether they be people, places or even battleships! Originally from Normandy, Wisharts have been in the British Isles for almost a thousand years, with the surname in its current form first appearing in Scotland, from where most Wisharts can claim their ancestral roots.
Wishart Connections is run by Wisharts for Wisharts, and has been conceived to give a voice to the global Wishart community, who are invited to share stories about their families and help create a central repository for all aspects of the surname.
In addition to the above we have genealogist Jack Wishart on hand to give help and advice on your Wishart ancestors. With over 22,000 Wisharts on his family tree database, and over 155 Wishart family trees, he is almost certain to have details of any Wishart antecedents you have, especially those from Scotland, and may even be able to put you in touch with living relations.
Following the very successful George Wishart Quincentennial Conference in 2013, another Wishart related event has been organized in 2014 by explorer Jock Wishart to commemorate the life of Robert Wishart, the famous bishop who fought for Scotland in the Wars of Independence and reputedly crowned Robert the Bruce himself. For further details please see below.
World War One
2014 also marks the centenary of the start of World War One. Over 400 Wisharts from around the world saw overseas service between 1914 and 1919, and to recognise the part they played in the Great War, a major project conceived by Scott Wishart is underway to research and write biographies of all the men and women who were involved in the conflict. The project has recently been accepted into the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Centenary Partnership and eventually he hopes to have all the biographies published in a book.
Within the Guild of One Name Studies there is a Wishart Group under the care of Jack Wishart. Currently he has almost 22,000 Wishart names on his database and has organised most of them into 155 family trees.
The Wishart DNA Project was set up in October 2010 to facilitate knowledge and understanding of how Wishart lineages relate by combining Y-Chromosome DNA data and traditional documentary evidence.
In his book ‘The Surnames of Scotland’, George F. Black records the Wishart surname as ....the same as the old French name Guischard which derives from the old French word Wischard, meaning 'prudent', 'sagacious,’
2014 marks the seven-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and the famous victory of Robert the Bruce, who finally expelled English troops from Scottish soil. To mark this event, the National Trust for Scotland will open an exciting new Visitor centre at Bannockburn in late June.
What few people realise is that Robert may never have become King and been in the position to lead the Scottish forces if it weren’t for Bishop Robert Wishart of Glasgow; who first heard Bruce’s confession and forgave him for the murder of a rival on sacred ground (an excommunicable offence) before giving the blessing at Bruce’s coronation. Wishart’s story extends back to the latter half of the 13th Century, when he became one of the six Guardians of Scotland, and in addition to ‘The Bruce’, was an early supporter and friend of William Wallace.
Wisharts by blood and name, their extended families and friends will have an opportunity to drink a toast to this remarkable member of their family on 21 June 2014 AND have a private preview of the new Visitor Centre (where we believe that Bishop Wishart is covered in the display material) before its official opening.
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2014 marks the centenary of the start of World War One. In 2010 Scott Wishart began an eight year project to research and record the lives of all Wisharts who served overseas between 1914 and 1919.
Wisharts were involved in a wide variety of roles during the Great War. Many enlisted in the summer and autumn of 1914, whilst others formed part of the general conscription under the Military Service Act of 1916. Roles ranged from clerical workers, labourers and drivers to front line infantry and officer duties.
Being a predominantly Scottish surname, many Wisharts were attached to Scottish regiments, however there were also strong contingents from Canada, Australia and New Zealand – with several men also coming from South Africa and Tasmania. The number of American Wisharts who served overseas isn’t currently known. Several hundred filled in draft registration cards although not all would have seen service. Where identified, I have listed those who were known to have served with the American Expeditionary Force.
Of those that saw front line action, a number distinguished themselves in the field and were subsequently merited for their actions, some even had their heroic deeds reported widely in the press yet others weren’t so fortunate. One man, despite proving himself in the trenches and earning an unblemished service record, found himself court-martialled and executed at dawn for desertion.
Wisharts were not only confined to the land, a healthy number of men served with the Royal Navy and several eventually joined the Royal Flying Corps from the army (latterly the RAF).
Overall the vast majority of individuals probably came from very humble backgrounds and it seems very likely that engaging in service overseas would have been the first time they’d have left the immediate area in which they lived. Of the three to four hundred who were in the forces, about eighty didn’t return (excluding Americans).
If you have any photographs of anyone named Wishart we’d love to include them on this site. Submission can be either via email or through our Flickr Wishart Connections group. It’s easy to join the group once registered with Flickr and please do not hesitate to write as much, or as little as you like about each photograph.