This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wys", meaning "wise", and "mann", a man, and was originally given as a nickname to a wise and learned man, perhaps one who was regularly consulted by other village inhabitants on matters pertaining to law or business transactions. The surname was first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Roger Wyseman, who appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, dated 1273, and John Wysman, listed in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire. Recordings from Staffordshire Church Registers include: the marriage of John Wyseman and Joanne Wood at the Church of St. Mary, Lichfield, on February 5th 1585, and the christening of Abrahamns, son of Johanis and Margaretae Wiseman, at the Church of St. Michael's, Tatenhill, on November 2nd 1634. In June 1635, Katherin Wiseman, aged 19 yrs., embarked from London on the ship "Thomas and John" bound for Virginia; she was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. Richard Wiseman, was principal surgeon to Charles 11 in 1672. John Wiseman married Elizabeth Chidley at the Church of St. Mary, Staffordshire, on November 18th 1776. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lewin Wisman which was dated 1154, in "Records of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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