Although this name is well known world wide through 'Wisdens Cricketers Almanac' produced and edited by John Wisden (1826 - 1884), and still in annual production after one hundred and thirty years. The name is in fact quite rare. There does not appear to be any recordings before the 18th Century and the spelling is apparently a dialectual variant of the original Olde English nickname surname 'wisdom' a description of a 'learned person' i.e. one who could probably read! The modern surname is believed to have originated from a point near Plymouth, Devon an estate owned in Norman times by one called 'Wisdom' but no doubt there were other sources, as the first recording would seem to be Durand Wisdom in the 1198 Essex Pipe Rolls. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robart Wisden, which was dated February 21st 1718, married Mary Smith at St. Matthews, Friday Street, London. during the reign of King George I, 'Hanover George', 1715 - 1727. 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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