Last name: Wheaton

This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from Wheaton-Aston, a village north west of Brewood in Staffordshire, or from any of the various places in the north of England called Weeton or Wetton. Wheaton-Aston, recorded as "Wetenaston" in the 1248 "Inquisitions post mortem", is believed to have as its initial element "wheten", an adjective from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hwaete", wheat, a derivative of "hwit", white, because of its use in making flour, with "tun", enclosure, paddock, farmstead. Weeton in Lancashire, and in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire, recorded variously as "Widetun" and "Witheton" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the above counties, all share the same meaning and derivation, that is, the Olde English "withig", willows, and "tun" (as before). Wetton in Staffordshire, recorded thus in 1327, has as a first element "weta", wet. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On October 20th 1561, Thomas Wheaton and Elizabeth Tompson were married at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, and on March 25th 1779, Sarah Wheaton married Henry Brevost in Leicestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Wetton, which was dated March 12th 1549, marriage to Thomas Jackson, at Loughborough, Leicestershire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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