Recorded as Whitred, Whitrod and Whiterod, this is a surname of English origins. There are two possible sources. The first is that it described someone who lived at a place near a cross made of white stone, probably a holy land mark. Here the derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century word "hwit", meaning white or light coloured, plus "rod", a rood or cross. Secondly it could be topographical for someone who lived in or near a wood or copse of "white" trees, perhaps silver birch, the second element being originally the northern word "royd", and meaning a wood or a clearing. As to where the place was is unclear, but it is known that over three thousand surnames of the British Isles do originate from now "lost" medieval places, of which the only public memory in the 20th century is usually the surname itself. In this case we do have some recordings from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London. They include the christening of John Whitred, at the church of St Mary Whitehouse, Bermondsey, on April 17th 1705, and the marriage of Olley Whiterod to Cornwell Bush on July 27th 1827 at St. Edmund's church, in Lombard Street, city of London. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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