This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place called Wheldrake in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The first element of the surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century "cweld, cwield", destruction, death and the second element is from the Old English "ric", stream, ditch, thus "felon" stream, a name given to a stream in which felons were drowned. There is place in Hampshire called Warnborough which has a similar meaning. Wheldrake was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Coldrid, as Queldric in the Pipe Rolls (1190), as Coldric in the Pipe Rolls (1176-1194) and as Coudric in the Feet of Fines (1218). The modern surname can be found as Welldrake, Weldrick, Wildrake and Wheldrake. The name is very common in Yorkshire; it can be found under all the variants. Among the sample recordings are the christening of Henry, son of Henry and Eliza Weldrick, on March 25th 1855 at Knottingley, Yorkshire, and the marriage of John Weldrick and Ann Dibb on May 3rd 1825 at Wawne, also in Yorkshire. 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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