From the book Col. John Wise of England and Virginia (1617-1695): His Ancestors and Descendants, by Jennings Cropper Wise, published 1918 by The Bell Book and Stationery Co., Inc, Richmond, VA, for the Virginia Historical Society.
The Wises are a Saxon race who were in the west of England before the Norman Conquest, at which period, one Oliver Wise, Gewis, or Gwiss, is stated in their pedigree to have been living at Greston. (Documents at the College of Heralds. See also Burke's "Landed Gentry." Vol. II., p. 1768.)
Various efforts have been made to connect the Wise family with the Norman family of Guisse or Guise, of which there are descendants in France to-day, and the frequent use of the name Wise by Jews has been cited as evidence that the Wises of England were of continental origin. The answer to this argument is that the early Saxon name of Geweiss, or Geweis, which in the British Isles became Gewis or Gwiss. became Weiss or Weis on the continent, and has been anglicized by the German Jews into Wise. The name Weiss or Weis is a common one among the Jews of America. Geweiss or Geweis is a derivative of the German verb, to know, from which come the nouns, knowledge and wisdom, and the adjective, wise. It is most natural, there fore, that the Teutonic word should have arrived at the same form among the Anglo-Saxons and the anglicized German Jews, and it is not necessary to seek a Latin origin for it. The Norman Guisse and French Guise may have come from the Teutonic root as well as the English name Wise. (Danish Wis.)