Recorded as Waddilove, Waddilow, Waddelow, Wadlow and possibly others, this is an English surname although one which probably owes something to the pre 8th century Vikings. First recorded with that of William Wadylove in the Assize Tax registers of the year 1260 for the county of Yorkshire, where the surname is still prominent,it is of ancient origins. Early research in the 19th century suggested that the name meant "Wade in love" with Wade being an early personal name. However this is clearly not correct, surnames rarely mean exactly what they appear to mean.In this case the famous etymologist Professor P R Reaney widely acknowledged as the leading authority on English surnames, and writing in 1959, suggested that it may mean "furious - wolf" and quoted as an example Walter Wodelof of circa 1250. This is from the Middle English word "wode" meaning mad, cross or furious! Compound names, there were no hereditary surnames at all before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, were popular during the period of history known as "The Dark Ages." This was roughly from the fall of the Roman Empire in 412 a.d to 1066. These "names" usually combined often contradictory elements such as strength, love, cunning, reasonableness, ferocity, religion, and a respect for the law, at a time when there wasnt any. Later examples showing the variety of spellings include Thomas Wadyloue, Robert Wadloef, and Adam Wadinlof, all in the Poll Tax register for Yorkshire in 1379.
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