Recorded in many spellings including Whatmough, Watmough, Whatmore, Watmore, and even Whartmouth, this is an English surname. Recorded originally mainly in Yorkshire, it is of early medieval English origin. It seems locational but all researchers seem to agree that it is patronymic. It derives from the baptismal name "Watt", a short form of the popular Walter, introduced into England by the Normans at the Conquest of 1066 in the forms Waltier and Wautier. Both are developments of the pre 7th century Old Germanic name "Waldhari" composed of the elements "wald", meaning rule, and hari, an army. The second element is derived from the English term "maugh or mough", used of relatives, those connected by marriage rather than by blood, and it may also refer to another relative of either sex. Other examples of this type of name are Hickmott, Hudmaugh, and even Robertmogh, with William Robertmogh being recorded in Lancashire in 1332. Myles Watmough was recorded as vicar of Medomsley, Durham, in 1582, whilst Thomas Watmore, the son of John Watmore, was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, in the diocese of London, on May 12th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Watmaghe. This was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11nd, 1377 - 1399. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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