Last name: Woodberry

This interesting name of English origin is a dialectual variant of the locational name Woodbury from a place so called in Devon, or Woodborough in Nottinghamshire. The former variant (Woobury) was recorded as 'Wodeberie' in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the latter 'Ve(s)burg'. The derivation of both placenames is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'Wuduburg', meaning fort built of wood, or fort in a wood. During the Middle Ages people began to migrate from their birthplace to seek work and often adopted their village name as a means of identification, or alternatively they adopted the name of the Lord of the Manor. At Uffulme Devon, one James Woodberry, married Tabitha Wills on 16th April 1646 and on the 31st December 1653 one Austice Woodberry was christened also at Uffulme, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David de Wodebir, which was dated 1273, Hundred Rolls Devon, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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