This interesting surname is of early medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from Wedale, the old name of the parish of Stow in Midlothian. The second element of the placename is either the Olde English pre 7th Century "dael", or the Old Norse "dalr", valley, and the first may conceivably be the Olde English "wedd", pledge, security, or its Old Norse cognate "veth" (although this is not found elsewhere as a placename element). Locational surnames were originally given to the Lord of the Manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Stephen de Wedale, who witnessed a charter of the lands of Swaynystoun to the Hospital of Soltre, circa 1221, and Symone de Wedale, abbot of Holyrood, Edinburgh (1296 - 1327) who, as Symon de Wedehale, was consecrated bishop of Galloway in 1327. Other early forms include: Vedayle (1344); Waldale (1359), Wedalle (1400) and Wadel (1505). On January 1st 1682, John, son of Robert Waddell, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Waddell family is an azure shield, a saltire chequy gold and red between four silver buckles, the Crest being a red lion's head erased. The Motto, "Orna verum" translates as "Adorn the truth". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Wedale, "an outlaw of the King of Scots land", which was dated 1204, in "A Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King William of Scotland, known as "The Lion", 1166 - 1214. 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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