The derivation and meaning
of this pleasing name are obscure. A Roger Wythisspon is recorded in Renfrewshire in the
thirteenth century, and a Widderspune was the King's fowler in 1496.
WOTHERSPOON, WEDDERSPOON: The origin of this name is believed to be from the old English WEDERSPONG 'sheep pasture'. WEDER is a Lowland term for 'sheep' or 'lamb,' and SPONG, obsolete English for a tongue-shaped piece of land enclosed by or lying next to higher ground. In the 13th c. Roger Wythirspon attested a grant by James, High Steward of lands in Renfrew. Thomas Witherspuyn witnessed a lease by the abbot of Cupar in 1521, and Archibald Wetherspune held the vicarage of Karridden in 1546. The Rev. John Witherspoon (1722-1794), born in Yester, East Lothian , became president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1768, and took an active part in the American Revolution on the side of the colonists. General William Wallace Wotherspoon (1850- 1921), head of the state canal system in New York, was of Scottish descent. In addition to the variations shown, there are some 30 different spellings of this name in old records. As the Wotherspoons are a Low!and family, they do not have a chief.