This very unusual surname is apparently only recorded in Leicestershire, and then only from about 1830. This suggests that as all hereditary surnames date from the 14th century and as all names at their inception had a definite meaning and concept 'Whatsize' in its modern form is a transposition of something else. It maybe argued that 'Whatsize' has a possible meaning and could be a nickname for a tailor or even a grocer, but if so it must be the only English nickname surname created in the 19th century! It is remotely possible that 'Whatsize' is an anglicization of a French or perhaps German surname. However we are unable to find any continental surname which even vaguely matches it, other than the French Huguenot 'Vautiez' recorded in London in 1697, after which it seems to disappear. This is a possibility, but one without any proof. The early 'Whatsize' recordings give no hint of French influence. On the balance of probability, it is our opinion that 'Whatsize' is a form of the famous Scottish and North Country surname 'Watson' which has proven variants in Whatson, Watsin and Watsain. Examples of 'Whatsize' recordings include John Watside, the son of John Watside (as spelt), christened at the church of St Mary de Castro, Leicester, on March 15th 1830, and Maud Whatsize, who married George E. W. Millergill, at St Pauls Church, Leicester, on September 11th 1915. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Whatsize, which was dated December 11th 1817, married Ann Hill at St Margarets, Leicester, during the reign of King George 111, known as 'Farmer George', 1760 - 1820. 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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