Recorded in several spellings including as shown below, this is a popular English surname. It is locational from any or all of the various villages called Whitacre in Warwickshire; Whitaker in Lancashire; Whiteacre in Kent; or Wheatacre near Beccles, in Norfolk. The former two places derive their name from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "hwit", meaning white or perhaps clear, with "feld", open country. This refers to land free from forest, as opposed to "aecer", meaning cultivated land. The latter two places derive from "hwaete", meaning wheat, and "aecer", cultivated ground. Locational surnames, such as this one, were originally given to the local lord of the manor, but more especially to former inhabitants who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname include: Simon de Wit Acra of Warwickshire in the year 1180; Robert de Witacra of Northamptonshire, in 1189, Richard de Whitacre of Lancashire, in 1336, and Henry Wydeacre of Yorkshire in the poll tax olls of 1379. In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Whiteaker, Whitaker, Whittaker, Whitticase, Waddikar, Waddicker, Widaker, Widdicor and others. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wetacra. This was dated 1177, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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