This English surname recorded in many spellings including: Wild, Wilde, Whilde, Wylde, Wyldes, Weald, Weild, Weld, Welds, Wyeld, Wield, and others, has two possible origins. The first is or rather was, a medieval nickname for a high spirited, or over boisterous person. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'wilde' meaning undisciplined or out of control. Secondly the name may be residential for a person who lived on at a village called Wild, Wylde or Wilde, or from an area of uncultivated land called a weald. This was descriptive for a large area of land used only for grazing, and forming part of the local common grazing rights. The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 11th Century, making it one of the earliest on record. Examples taken from surviving rolls and registers of those ancient times include: William le Wilde, in the 1177 Pipe Rolls of the county of Leicestershire, and Henry le Wylde, who appears in the Court Rolls of the county of Essex in 1236. William de Wilde, who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex, in the year 1200, came from a place called Wilde. This may have been the village now called Wild, in Berkshire, or from some now 'lost' medieval site. Other recordings showing some of the spelling forms include: John Wyeld, who was christened on March 5th 1610 at St. Olave church, in Old Jewry, city of London, whilst Sarah Wield married William Atkins on August 3rd 1763 at St. George's church, Botolph Lane, also in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Ulricus Wilde. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of the county of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King William 1st of England, 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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