This curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Aethelric", a compound of the elements "aethel", noble, and "ric", rule(r). Unlike many Anglo-Saxon personal names, "Aethelric" survived the Norman Conquest of 1066, but the first element was gradually reduced to "Al-". The name appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the variant forms: "Aethelric, Adelric, Ailric, Aelricus" and "Alricus", one Ailricus de Burc being noted in the Domesday Book for Suffolk. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements of the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. Early examples of the surname include: William Ailricht, noted in the Book of Fees for Bedfordshire, dated 1250; William Ailriht (Cambridgeshire, 1273); and Roger Alright, recorded in the 1457 Calendar of Letter Books for Kent. In the modern idiom the name is spelt Allright, Allwright and Oldwright. On December 16th 1666, John, son of William and Jane Allright, was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a red shield with a gold bend, and three sinister silver bendlets, the centre one surmounting the bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Ailric, which was dated 1209, in the "Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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