Recorded as Weatherburn, Weddeburn,and more usually Wedderburn, this is a very interesting Scottish locational surname. It originates from an estate known originally as 'The lands of Wedderburn,' near the town of Duns, in the county of Berwickshire, Scotland. Berwickshire is in the area known to history as the Border Country. This was a region which for a thousand and more years after the end of the Roman occupation of England, was a 'no mans land' between the two countries, and where the rule of law hardly prevailed. The place name appears to translate as 'sheep stream' from the pre 7th century English words weder-burna, although why any sort of a river should be called after sheep seems illogical. What we do know is that the nameholders were generally to be found in the counties of Forfar, Linlithgow and Perth, although arguably the first recorded nameholder could be Wautier de Wedur, who gave his allegiance to the Scottish Government of John Bailiol in 1296. James Wedderburn (1495 - 1553) was a famous Scottish actor and poet. whilst Sir John Wedderburn (1704 - 1747), the 5th baronet of Blackness, Forfar, was a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He was taken prisoner at Culloden and executed as a traitor. His coat of arms with the blazon of a silver shield charged with a red chevron between three roses was attainted, or struck off in 1747. 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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