This interesting name of Medieval English and Scottish origin is a dialectal variant of the surname Weatherhead, itself an occupational name for a shepherd. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'wether', wether, sheep or ram, with 'hierde', a herd, or flock. It is also thought that the name has its source from an unidentified minor hill in the former county of Berwick, which would explain why the earliest recording (see below) is in Scotland. The following examples illustrate the name development, Augustin Wetherherde (1214, Feet of Fines, Kent), Henry Weydurherd (1476, Derbyshire Charters), George Weddirheid, (1532, Blacks, surnames of Scotland), Thomas Weatherheade (1634, Lancashire Wills). Amongst the early recordings in London are the christenings of Anne Wethered on the 29th June 1623 at St. Mildred Poultrey, and Abraham Wethered on March 17th 1650 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas dictus Wethyrhyrde, which was dated circa 1200, Nevcraneston, Scotland, during the reign of King William the Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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