Recorded in several spellings including Warton, Warten, Worton, Wharton, Wherton, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from any of the various places called Wharton in Cheshire, Cumberland, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Westmoreland. All have much the same meaning and derivation. This is either from an Olde English pre 7th century word 'woefre', meaning wandering or winding or perhaps 'warop,' meaning a shore or bank. To these has been added "tun", meaning a hamlet or settlement. The name being locational is usually a 'from' name. That is to say a name given for easy identification, when the person concerned left his or sometimes her, original village to move somewhere else. In so doing they took or were given, as their surname, the name of their former home. Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the adoption of 'sounds like' spellings. Early examples of the recordings include Thomas Wharton in the records known as the Paston papers of the 15th century Oxfordshire, in the year 1411, whilst Thomas Whartton was christened at St. Nicholas', Cole Abbey, on April 3rd 1549, and Elizabeth Werton or Wherton, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 9th 1769.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wharton, which was dated 1324, in the "Calendar of Inguisitiones Postmortem", Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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