This is an ancient English locational surname. It originates from the little town of Wendover near to the rather better known Aylesbury, in the county of Buckinhamshire. Wendover as a place is first recorded as 'Waendofron' in the Cartularium Saxonicum, or the Anglo-Saxon records dating from the year 970 a.d, and again in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 this time as Wendovre. It is claimed that the name derives from the Ancient British and later Welsh words 'gwyn - dwfr' or white river, a reference to the clear stream through the chalk hills in the vacinity. The surname itself is ancient dating back to the very begining of surnames as we know them. However it has to be said, that the surname is many years 'younger' than the place itself. The earliest known recording is that of Richard de Wendover in the Curia Regis rolls for the neighbouring county of Berkshire, in the year 1214, whilst John de Wendovre of Essex, appears in the tax rolls known as the 'Feet of Fines' in 1341. These two recordings do illustrate the basic ethos of locational surnames. These were names given to landowners, often the local lord of the manor, or to people who had left their original homestead for whatever reason, and thereafter were most easily identified by their new neighbours, by the name of the place from where they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local accents very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings of the surname, sometimes, although not in this case, far removed from the original form.
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