This unusual German surname is well recorded from the 17th Century. It is a variant form of Wieffel or Wiefel, and describes a former inhabitant of the Town of Wiefels in North Germany. It may also be topographical in the sense that the origination is from the Old Frisian (pre 7th Century) "Wisa" meaning a meadow or wetland, and the name could equally describe one who worked upon a meadow or came from such a spot. In Westphalia the "er" suffix can be a form of patronymic, thereby describing "the Son of Wisa". That the modern spellings is a variant is confirmed by the form of the name "Wiff" a structure not recorded in the German language. This is not unusual, local dialect being the foundation of many, and possibly the majority of variant spellings. The name recordings include the following examples e.g., Joannes Casparus Wiffler, son of Urbanus and Maria, who was christened at Karlsruhr on May 2nd 1702, whilst in 1789 Valentinus Wiffler married Margaretha Grobser on July 19th 1789, at Kiedrick, Hessen-Nassau. An earlier recording was that of Hermannus Wiffel, in circa 1680, who was a native of Mehlem, Rheinland, this would seem to be a "link" spelling. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christoph Wiffler, which was dated March 15th 1668, a christening witness at Ersingen, Karlsruhr, Baden, during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1st of the Holy Roman Empire 1665 - 1705. 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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