This interesting surname found widespread in Cornwall, is possibly a variant of "Wedge", which itself derives from two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of English topographical origin, describing someone who lived on a wedge-shaped (i.e. triangular) piece of land from the old English pre 7th Century word "wecg" and Medieval English word "wegge", meaning wedge. The name may however also derive from the old English word "wice", a wych elm, hence "a dweller by a wych elm wood". The surname first appears in the early 14th Century (see below). Willelmus Wege was recorded in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. The London Church Registers record the following entries: Robert Wedge married Dorothie Wilson at St. Dunstan, Stepney on September 10th 1572, Joyce Wagge married Edward Appryse at St. Margaret, Westminster on February 3rd 1572, and one Nicholas Wadge married Elizabeth Bullmore at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, on October 13th 1745. The family were granted two coats of arms, one family in Upton Lewanneck, Cornwall were granted one which consisted of three silver wedges (a tool used to split timber) on a silver field with five silver mullets (star-spurs) on a black chevron. The other was granted to Edwin Harvey Wedge Esq. of Stradbrook Hall, County Dublin in 1884, and differed from the other only in that it had a "Green slipped trefoil" (three leaved grass) in the centre. Their motto was "Spes in futuro", (Hope in the future). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wegge, which was dated 1328, Kirby's Quest for Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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