Recorded as Wade, Waide, and diminutives Wadelin and Wadeling, meaning 'Little Wade' or possibly 'Son of Wade', this is an English surname. It has two possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Middle English given name "Wade", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "Wada", from the verb "wadan", to go. The personal name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wada, Wade and "ado, and as Wade in 1297, and owed its evident popularity to the legend of Wade, originally a sea-giant, who was dreaded and honoured by the coast tribes of the North Sea and the Baltic. The first recording of the surname (see below) is from this source. The second possible derivation is from the Olde English "gewaed", meaning a ford, and may form either a topographical name for someone who lived by a ford, or a locational name from a place named with this word, such as "Wade" in Suffolk. Among the recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of John Wade and Alyce Bromebick at St. Giles Cripplegate, on June 30th 1593. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Wade, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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