This most interesting name, of Anglo-Saxon origin, derives from two possible origins. Firstly, it is likely that it is of locational origin from places called Whiteside in Northern England and Scotland, for example Whiteside in Cumberland, Whiteside Hill in Scotland, and Whiteside Pike in Westmorland. These placenames are composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century words "hwit", white, and "side", slope of a hill. Another source derives the surname from a curious medieval nickname "white side", probably given to one with a conspicuous streak of white hair, from the same elements as above. The surname itself first appears in records in the early 13th Century (see below). One John Witside appears in the Feet of Fees of Hampshire in 1250. The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire record a Richard Whitside in 1275. An interesting namebearer was James Whiteside (1804 - 1876), who was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and he made a notable speech in defence of Daniel O'Connell in 1843. Later he became solicitor-general for Ireland, attorney-general and lord chief justice of Ireland in 1866. His nephew Rev. John Whiteside of Yorkshire was granted a Coat of Arms depicting a red rose, with a gold tower on a red chief, on an ermine field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Wytside, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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