Recorded in many spellings (see below) this unusual name, is found principally in Scotland and Northern England. It is of Anglo-Scandinavian origin, and derives from a short form of the popular Olde English personal name "Waltheof", adopted from the Old Norse "Valthiofr". The given name is composed of the Old Norse elements "val", battle, with "thiofr", thief, denoting "one who snatched victory out of battle". It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Waltef, Walteu, Walteif" and "Waldeuus", and Willelmus filius (son of) Waldeu is listed in the Yorkshire Pipe Rolls of 1192.In Scotland, Waldevus, earl of Dunbar, was one of the sureties in 1175 for William the Lion, King of Scotland (1165 - 1214) that he would observe the treaty of Falaise. That the original given name was a popular one is well borne out by the number and range of surnames that it has generated; these range from Walthew, Waltho, Wilthew and Wealthy, to the short forms Waldie, Waldy, Wildy, Waldo, Waddy and Wad(d)ie. Recordings of the name from Scottish Church Registers include: the marriage of Thomas Wadie and Marion Symson, in Lasswade, Midlothian, on June 3rd 1632, and the christening of James, son of George Wadie, on April 14th 1672, in Dalkeith. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Waddy, which was dated 1316, in the "Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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