This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any of the places called 'Whitwell' in Derbyshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Rutland, Cumbria and Yorkshire. The places are variously recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Witeuuelle', 'Witewella' and 'Witeuella', and all share the same meaning and derivation, which is 'the white spring or stream', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'hwit', white, with 'well(a)', spring or stream. The modern surname can be found as 'Whitwell', 'Whitell', 'Whittell' and 'Whittle'. The 'Records of Wills at Chester' for 1608 records the will of one Miles Whitwell, of Kendall, while on the 27th July 1599, Ann Whitwell married Robert Grynkin at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eborard de Wytewelte, which was dated 1273, The Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward I, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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