This interesting and unusual surname has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a topographical name for a dweller in, or near, a weedy place. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "weod", weed. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In some instances the surname may be of Old Germanic origin, as a patronymic from the given name "Wido", a pet form of names beginning with the German "wid", forest (as "Widwalt" and "Widulf").The surname can also be found as Wead, Weede and Wede. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Martha Weede on October 25th 1582 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; the marriage of George Weed and Philadelphia Hinch on September 2nd 1624 at St. Gregory by St. Paul; the marriage of Joan Weed and Henry Warde on November 23rd 1641 at Tottenham; and the marriage of Augustyne Weed and Mary James on July 7th 1659 at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Wede, which was dated September 16th 1579, christened at Padiham, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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