Last name: Whitlow

Recorded as Whitlow and Whitloe, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Whitlow in the county of Northumberland. The village is first recorded in the year 1272 as "Witloe", from the pre 7th century Olde English words "whit" meaning white, and "hlaw", a hill. Locational surnames are by their nature "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homestead to live somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such strangers was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead to the developmenty of "sounds like" spellings. In this case the surname is well recorded far away in the diocese of Greater London, even before it appears in its home county. This however is probably because record keeping was a more practised art in the capital, and took time to spread to other areas. These recordings include Elizabeth Whitlow who married Antony Jeffry at St Mary's Kensington, on January 31st 1573, and Ann Whitloe who married Will Phraze at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on February 8th 1648. An early recording from Northumberland is that of Richard Whitlow, christened at Warkworth, on September 26th 1608.

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