This is a famous English surname, which whilst recorded in most parts of the country, is especially popular in the West Midlands. It is a topographical surname for one who lived in a "white house", or specifically a house built of lime-stone or one that was white-washed. Such a house would be easily distinguishable in medieval times since houses built of stone were comparatively rare before the 15th century. The derivation is from the Middle English word "whit" meaning white and "hus", a house. Some bearers of the name may originate from a place so called, such as "Whittus", a village in Cumberland.There are three spellings of the name in the modern idiom, Whitehouse, Whitehous and Whitters. Early exam[ples of the surname recording include Mary Whitehouse who married Gualtero Bernard, at the church of St Michaels Cornhill, in the city of London in 1720, and another Mary Whitehouse who married John Nottage at St. Georges chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1788. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen atte Whitehous. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward lllrd of England, known as the Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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