This interesting surname, with variant spellings Willding and Wilden, has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Wilding" or as a nickname for a "wild one" from the Old English "wilde" meaning wild. The given name "Wildingus" appears in the Curia Regis Rolls of Herefordshire (1224). It is also possible that the name is of topographical origin for someone who lived on a patch of uncultivated land left in a state of nature. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). One, John Wylding, appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland (1332). On June 12th 1564, Maude Wilding married Arnold Moth at St. Lawrence Jewry. Annis, daughter of Andrue Wilding, was christened on April 7th 1607, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street.. The marriage of William Wilding to Easter Reeve took place on December 8th 1609, at St. Mary Mounthaw, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Wilding family depicts a red cinquefoil (5 leaved grass) on a silver shield with a silver lions head on a red chief. On the crest is an oak tree proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Wilding, which was dated 1207, Curia Regis Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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