This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant form of the more familiar locational surname Wharton, deriving from any of the various places so called. Wharton in Cheshire is recorded as "Wanetune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Waverton" in 1260, and shares its derivation with that of Wharton in Herefordshire ("Wavertune" in Domesday), which is from the Olde English pre 7th Century river name "Waefer", from "waefre", wandering, winging, and "tun", settlement. The place called Wharton in Lincolnshire is recorded in Domesday as "Warton", and is so called from either the Olde English "wearde", beacon, or "waroth", shore, with "tun", as before, while Wharton in Westmorland is "Werfton" in the 1202 Feet of Fines of the county, and "Querton" in the 1238 Pipe Rolls, and has the Olde English "hwearf, hwerf", wharf, embankment, as its first element. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere, and regional dialectal differences often gave rise to subsequent variants of the original name. Examples of the surname from Church Registers include: the marriage of Michaell Whorton and Gennet Geaslinge in Sedbergh, Yorkshire, on October 26th 1606, and the christening of Elsabeth, daughter of Rychard Whorton, on January 11th 1618, at Brough under Stainmore, Westmorland. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name depicts a silver maunch (sleeve) on a black shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wharton, which was dated 1324, in the "Inquisitiones Post Mortem", of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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