Recorded in several forms including Whitta, Witter and Whitter, this is an English surname. Of early medieval origin, it is occupational for a decorator, but more specifically, one employed to apply whitewash to the walls of buildings, both inside and out. The keep of the Tower of London was known as the "White Tower," because it was whitewashed, as was Corfe Castle in Dorset. The name and word could also be used to describe a bleacher, someone who bleached cloth white. The derivation of the name is from the Olde English pre 7th century verb "hwitian", meaning to make white, in medieval English "whiten". The surname development has included: Henry le Witere of Warwickshire in 1221, Andrew le Whytere of Essex in 1320, and Thomas le Whittere of Somerset in the same year, whilst in an early 18th century church registers of the diocese of Greater London, Edward Ap-Price and Mary Whitter were married at St Botlophs Bishopgate in the city of London in 1782. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Witer. This was dated 1181, in the chartulary of St. Mary's abbey, Clerkenwell, during the reign of King Henry II nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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