This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name for someone who lived to the west of a main settlement, or a regional name for one who had migrated from further west. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century adjective "westerne", western. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of the surname include: Richard le Westerne (Staffordshire, 1286); Adam le Western, noted in the 1296 Records of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire; Alan Western (Suffolk, 1327); and Henricus Westryn, in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Western, Westren and Westron. On May 16th 1597, Ann Western and William Mathew were married at St. Michael's, Cornhill, London. Charles Callis Western (1767 - 1844), politician and agriculturist, was created Baron Western of Rivenhall, Essex, in 1833. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey le Westerne, which was dated circa 1172, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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