This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place called Wheldrake in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was recorded as "Coldrid" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as "Coldric" in the 1176 Pipe Rolls. The placename derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "cweld" or "cwield" meaning destruction or death plus "ric" a stream; hence "felon stream" i.e. stream in which felons were drowned. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Weldrick, Wheldrake, and Wheldrick. Recordings of the surname from the English church registers include; on November 24th 1572, France Weldrick married Hugh Davies at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London; the marriage of Alice Wheldrick and Thomas Moore took place on June 26th 1586, at Howden, Yorkshire; Barbary Weldrake married John Bearley on March 3rd 1740, at Birstall, Yorkshire; and Judith, daughter of Robert Weldrake, was christened in the same place, on April 29th 1743. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Queldrik, which was dated 1272, Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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