Recorded in various spellings including Whethered, Wethered, and Weatherhead, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It has two possible origins. The first is the medieval phrase or metonymic "wether hierde", from the Old English pre 7th century words "wether", meaning a sheep, with "hierde", a herd or flock, and hence occupational for a sheppard. The second is locational from a "lost" hamlet called Wetherhed or similar which was thought to have been in the former county of Berwick. This may help to explain why the earliest recording is in Scotland, although most of the early recordings are to be found in England. The following examples help to illustrate the name development over the centuries. Augustin Wetherherde in the tax rolls of Kent known as the "Feet of Fines" in the year 1214, Henry Weydurherd in the Derbyshire Charters of 1476, George Weddirheid, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1532, and Thomas Weatherheade, who is recorded in the Lancashire Wills register at Chester in 1634. Amongst the early recordings in London are the christenings of Anne Wethered on June 29th 1623 at St. Mildred Poultrey, and Abraham Weathehead on March 17th 1650, at St. Margarets, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Wethyrhyrde. This was dated 1200, at Neucraneston, Scotland, during the reign of King William, known as "The Lion of Scotland", 1165 - 1214. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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