This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any one of the places called Wheeldon in Devonshire and Derbyshire, or Whielden in Buckinghamshire. The former was recorded as "Whyledon" in 1520, and as "Wheldon" in 1614, in documents published in the "Place Names of Devonshire". The places called Wheeldon are composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "hweol", wheel, referring perhaps to a rounded, curved shape, and "dun", hill, a common element in placenames in south-west England. The latter place in Buckinghamshire contains the same initial element "hweol", and the second element "denu", valley. Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Whieldon, Wheldon, Wheildon, Wildon and Wheelden. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name from its original location. There is a Peter de Whilden mentioned in 1281, in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls of Berkshire. Anne Whildon married Thomas Hudson on August 7th 1596 at Edensor in Derbyshire, while Anthony Wheildon was christened on January 4th 1684 at Norbury and Roston, also in Derbyshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Hweldon, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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