This most interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and derives from the widespread Anglo-Scandinavian personal name "Waeltheof", Old Norse "Valthiofr", which is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Waltef, Walteu, Walteif and Waldeuus". This personal name is composed of the Scandinavian elements "val", battle and "thiofr", thief; hence the name means "one who snatched victory out of battle". Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Waltho, Waldy, Waldie, Walthey, Wealthy and Wildy. The name development includes the recordings of: Hugo Waldef, in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1275; Alexander Waltheuf, in 1297, in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield (Yorkshire); Hugh Waddy, in 1316 (ibid.); and Adam Waldi in 1400, in Aberdeen. The London Church Registers record the marriage of Robert Walthew and Elizabeth Lanman at St. Mary Woolchurch, on December 15th 1601. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Walthef, which was dated 1219, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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